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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Is Chris Dudley Pro-Choice?

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Tue, Aug 10, 2010 at 10:29 AM

I've been keeping pretty quiet about the governor's race during the doldrums of summer, but two recent items about Republican challenger Chris Dudley piqued my interest.

Chris Dudley: He has a case of the talls.
  • NYT
  • Chris Dudley: He has a case of the talls.
1. I wanted to eat Chris Dudley's hot dog. And was denied. Dudley announced last week that he was hosting a barbecue at his Lake Oswego home, inviting Democratic politicians to join him in consuming meats and "get to know each other as people". Because he is a Man of the People, dammit, even if he lives in Lake Oswego. By Friday afternoon, no Democrats had actually accepted the invitation, so I called up his campaign and said, "Yes, I would like to eat Chris Dudley's hot dog, I would like us to 'get to know each other as people.'" But it was a closed event. No reporters or regular people allowed at this Man of the People BBQ, only politicians.

2. Chris Dudley says he's pro-choice, but would roll back abortion access. Carla Axtman over at BlueOregon had a good post noting that the NYTimes and Daily Show said Dudley is a unique candidate because "he supports abortion rights and civil unions." So if Dudley supports abortion rights, why did Democrat John Kitzhaber just snag the endorsement of both Planned Parenthood and NARAL? Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon chief Roey Thorpe says in their endorsement interview, Dudley said he was pro-choice but personally opposed abortion. "It was pretty clear that he would roll back access to abortion in Oregon," says Thorpe, pointing to Dudley's stance that he would support requiring parental notification for minors' abortions. Oregon voters defeated that idea at the ballot in 2006 because no one wants young women to "choose" to have their baby because they're afraid or unable to tell their parents.

UPDATE NARAL Pro-Choice Executive Director Michele Stranger Hunter called to say that she, personally, is very worried about the governor's race. The biggest issue for her is that Dudley opposes public health plans financing abortion. "The low income population are the women who are most in need and this is the population he wants to take choice away from," says Stranger Hunter.

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