With Republicans Eyeing the Governor’s Office, We Asked About Reproductive Rights

Our question: Do you support a law banning abortions and providing a private right of legal action to enforce the law, as passed in Texas?

Abortion rights as protected by the U.S. Supreme Court may quickly be a thing of the past. Republican statehouses have been passing bans on abortions, including so-called heartbeat bills in Texas and Idaho. That places the fight over reproductive rights on Oregon’s doorstep.

Democrats may be unpopular this election cycle, but abortion rights are still cherished by a majority of Americans. And the issue may soon have more currency: The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to weigh in before the November election.

In Oregon, the abortion rights of Roe v. Wade have been enshrined in law. That means a Republican governor would need legislative action to overturn them. But it’s still a good test of whether a candidate would hold the line as other states seek legal action against abortion providers who treat women fleeing here. We asked leading candidates for governor about their preferences.

WW asked: Do you support a law banning abortions and providing a private right of legal action to enforce the law, as passed in Texas?


Christine Drazan (R)

I’ve never shied away from my pro-life values, but a private right of action is a dangerous precedent that could just as easily be used to curtail constitutional rights that conservatives value such as the Second Amendment, religious freedom, and free speech.

Betsy Johnson (unaffiliated)

I am pro-choice and Oregon will remain a pro-choice state when I am governor. I believe every woman in Oregon has the right to bear arms and bear children as she wishes.

Tina Kotek (D)

Everyone should be able to make personal health care decisions for themselves. Texas’ archaic abortion ban is backwards and wrong. Under my leadership as House speaker, Oregon passed the nation’s strongest abortion access law, ensuring that every Oregonian who needs access to reproductive health care can get it, no matter what the Supreme Court decides.

Tobias Read (D)

I oppose these efforts to limit an individual’s reproductive rights. As governor, I will ensure that Oregon continues to be a bright spot amidst a wave of concerning threats and rollbacks and will stand up to attacks on abortion access here in Oregon.


Stan Pulliam (R)

If you describe an abortion procedure and the stages at which they happen in Oregon (up to the moment of birth), most Oregonians support more restrictions than what we have now, which is absolutely nothing. Oregon is a taxpayer-funded abortion tourist destination. Politicians are more concerned with propping up the abortion industry than actually helping women and children. It’s time we recognize the value of the unborn by protecting their right to life in our laws. As governor, I would propose and support any common sense limits on abortion that are allowed by current Supreme Court decisions.


Bridget Barton (R)

I’m a mom, soon-to-be grandmother and a woman of faith. Oregonians should know state officials place no limits on abortion through the third trimester up to the moment of birth. My efforts as governor will focus on support for all human life, including all our most vulnerable people from conception, through foster kids, the sex-trafficked, mentally ill, to our fragile seniors. As an outsider, I’m not afraid to hold accountable the career politicians of both parties who have run our beautiful state into the ground.

Bob Tiernan (R)

I believe in the right to life with limited exemptions.


Bud Pierce (R)