Press Releases

DPO Chair Atkins: The Stakes Are Too High

May 23, 2018

For Immediate Release

Contact: Molly Woon
(503) 367-4327
press [at] dpo [dot] org
May 23, 2018


DPO Chair Atkins: The Stakes Are Too High


PORTLAND — Republican Knute Buehler keeps trying to explain away his votes to restrict access to safe and legal abortion, this time in an article published by the Willamette Week
“Buehler has come up with a whole new set of excuses for his record, but that doesn’t change the fact that he has repeatedly voted against a woman’s right to reproductive health care,” said Jeanne Atkins, Chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon. “The facts are clear. We have a governor who has fought her entire career to expand access to health care for women and we need to keep her in office.” 
  • In the 2014 Primary, Buehler was Recommended by Oregon Right to Life. According to the Bend Bulletin, Oregon Right to Life recommended Buehler in its voter's guide released before the 2014 primary election; their recommendation is a step below a full endorsement and means a candidate “is not fully pro-life, but he or she agrees with us on the majority of the life issues.” [Bend Bulletin, 8/29/14]
  • In 2017, Buehler opposed the Reproductive Health Equity Act. HB 3391 requires health benefit plan coverage of specified health care services, drugs, devices, products and procedures related to reproductive health, regardless of gender. It also guarantees access to abortion for all women in Oregon, regardless of immigration status. [Oregon House HB 3391 Floor Vote, 7/1/17]
  • During the GOP Primary, Buehler said the Reproductive Health Equity Act would make Oregon a “magnet state” for abortions. On December 17th, 2017, on the Gator & Denise show, Buehler said “I’ve certainly voted no this last session, which would have provided, which provides increased funding for abortions. Essentially it makes Oregon a magnet state for people to come here for abortions. I think that is a proven track record.” [Gator & Denise Radio, 12/17/17]
“As someone who has fought on the front lines of access to reproductive health my entire career, I can say, without hesitation, there’s simply too much at stake for us to turn a blind eye to Buehler’s record,” said Atkins, who began her career at the Women’s Equity Action League, worked as the Patient Services Director for Planned Parenthood in Oregon, and later served as the Manager of Women’s and Reproductive Health for the State of Oregon. “Voters who believe that women should have access to the full complement of reproductive health care have one clear choice this November: Governor Kate Brown.”
  • Governor Brown was an early pioneer in the movement for contraceptive equity for Oregon women. In 2007, after battling the far right for 14 years, she succeeded in barring insurance companies from excluding prescription contraceptives if they cover other prescription drugs. At the time, women of reproductive age paid an average of 68 percent more for out-of-pocket health care coverage than men.
  • Governor Brown led the effort to require hospitals to offer emergency contraceptives to women who seek them after sexual assault.
  • Governor Brown sponsored legislation that made Oregon the seventh state to establish felony charges for blocking access to medical facilities.
  • Governor Brown introduced legislation aimed at preventing so-called "Crisis Pregnancy Centers" from spreading false or misleading information to women.
  • Governor Brown signed the Reproductive Health Equity Act, ensuring that any woman in Oregon, no matter where they live or how much they make, has access to the full complement of reproductive health care.
“In a race where Knute Buehler has already proven he will spend any amount of money and say anything to get elected, actions will speak louder than words,” said Atkins. “While Trump continues to find new ways to reduce access to reproductive health services, we can be assured that Governor Kate Brown will stand firm against an administration that is increasingly dangerous to women.”