Oregon Congressional Race Sees Allegations Candidate Paid for Abortion
by Steven Ertelt
May 13, 2008
Salem, OR (LifeNews.com) — Most Congressional campaigns eventually focus on abortion but the discussions are typically academic or revolve around how candidates would vote on specific issues. However, an Oregon race this week hit a little closer to home when one candidate accused another of personal involvement in an abortion.
U.S. House candidate Kevin Mannix, who enjoys support from Oregon pro-life advocates, distributed allegations this week that his Republican primary rival Mike Erickson pressured a former partner to have an abortion.
Mannix also suggested Erickson paid for the abortion in question.
The revelation, whether true or not, has sent shockwaves throughout the state as Oregon voters prepare to head to the polls in the primary on Tuesday.
The Portland Tribune interviewed a 33-year-old woman from Clackamas County who claims Erickson "got her pregnant in 2000 and then paid for her to have an abortion."
"We became pregnant, and not only did he pick me up and drove me to the abortion clinic, he completely encouraged me to do that," the unidentified woman told the newspaper. "On the way to the clinic, "he withdrew $300 from his bank account" at an ATM to pay for the procedure, she said.
"He didn’t go in, didn’t walk her in, just left her at the door," Kristi Oetken, a friend of the woman, told the Portland newspaper. "I’d left work and met her there. I can describe it to you — the stairs, the hallway, the little lobby."
Erickson’s spokesman Cary Evans flatly denied the rumors.
"Kevin Mannix is desperate and resorting to politics-as-usual because he knows he is losing," she alleged.
"Mannix’s wild accusations are unbelievable and not credible. These false allegations are exactly the kind of politics that people want changed, and the kind of desperate smear that Kevin Mannix resorts to," she said.
Evans concluded: "These unsubstantiated and untrue allegations are from an email from 2006 that no news media reported at the time. They are just as untrue today as they were then."
Mannix included the allegations in a letter to residents of the Congressional district.
"Many people have suggested to me that I allow some ‘other party’ to share this information with you so that I can stand by and watch the situation develop," Mannix wrote, according to an AP report. "I believe it is important for me to take personal responsibility for sharing this story."
Meanwhile, Lois Anderson, director of the group’s political action committee, told the Oregonian newspaper that Right to Life officials spoke with the woman and her friend in 2006 about the alleged abortion.
"I cannot confirm the version of the story" in the campaign mailing, Anderson told the newspaper. "I can confirm that . . . she’s a real person, Mike Erickson knew her and she had an abortion. What I don’t know to this day is what Mike Erickson’s involvement is."
Both candidates are competing for the open House seat vacated by pro-abortion Rep. Darlene Hooley. Kurt Schrader, a state Senator, and Steve Marks, a former aide to pro-abortion Gov. John Kitzhaber are running on the Democrat side.