Questions about Ben Westlund's position on Choice

Over at the blog Privilege Judo, they're asking questions about Ben Westlund's position on abortion. And, they're getting responses from Stacey Dycus -- Westlund for Governor campaign manager.

I think that the two party system of politics in Oregon (and beyond) stinks. ... But, I can’t support you for Governor. For that, I’m sorry. I’ve been following your press, and I have to say that I’m unimpressed. Your website (under the “more detail” section) says that you support parental notification for minors who need to end their unwanted pregnancies.

I simply cannot support a candidate for governor who takes this position. Oregon has enjoyed a (relative) freedom from legal barriers to abortion procurement that is virtually unprecedented among the states of the US. That is in no small part due to the unwavering commitment by Democratic Governors to a woman’s right to self-determination when it comes to pregnancies.

I do realize that this might be a calculated decision on your part to appeal to the “more conservative” parts of Oregon, but I can’t support a candidate who (seems to) view abortion as a “chip in the pile” to bargain with. Your stance is unacceptable to this Oregonian. You also take a stand on “late term abortion” on your website that plays into the current sentiments of the anti-choice crowd that mentions the “life” of a woman, without consideration of her health.

This is not okay. Whether it’s your personal position or one crafted by your consultants, it is the wrong position for Oregon.

Dycus responds:

The website copy was incorrect - Ben does support exception for health- thanks for bringing to my attention. Also, he only supports parental notification with healthcare provider opt-out, not the administrative judge version circulated by RTL

And Privilege Judo retorts.

For the young women for whom it is not safe for their parent(s) to know, this requirement adds another layer of uncertainty to the process. In what manner is the option given? Does the young woman have to ask for the opt out? Will the provider necessarily inform the patient about the option? Why is the decision making process being taken from the woman and given to the provider? The attack on abortion access in this country has been one of incrementalism, and it has been very effective. For Senator Westlund to suggest “giving ground” like this is still very concerning. ...

Can we get a statement from Senator Westlund that he would not only fight legislation that restricted abortion access, but would take affirmative steps to protect it?

Of course, there's more. Dig in and discuss at Privilege Judo.


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