Oregon Pro-Life Group Wants Candidate in Abortion Controversy to Quit

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 16, 2008   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Oregon Pro-Life Group Wants Candidate in Abortion Controversy to Quit

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by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
May 16
, 2008

Salem, OR (LifeNews.com) — A top pro-life group in Oregon is calling on a Congressional candidate embroiled in an abortion controversy to quit the race. Oregon Right to Life says 5th Congressional district candidate Mike Erickson should end his bid for the GOP nod after allegations surfaced that he paid for a former lover’s abortion.

Earlier this week, U.S. House candidate Kevin Mannix sent a letter to thousands of residents of the district with the allegations that Erickson both paid for and pressured a former partner to have an abortion.

In a statement Oregon Right to Life sent LifeNews.com on Thursday the group said Erickson has “betrayed the trust of his former girlfriend, prominent political organizations and every Republican voter in the 5th Congressional District.”

Gayle Atteberry told LifeNews.com that she was aware of the allegations two years ago when Erickson approached her group seeking an endorsement in a previous election.

“However, as the Election Day drew near, we heard from Tawnya, a young woman who claimed to be the mother of Mike’s child, one she ultimately aborted with Mike’s aid and money. We talked personally with Tawnya. She is very credible and remains, to this day, devastated over the events,” Atteberry said.

“When we approached Mike about these allegations, he admitted giving her money and dropping her at a ‘doctor’s office,’” Atteberry added. “He said he did not know she was getting an abortion.”

“Now, less than two years later, Mike Erickson issues a flat denial about everything, even the parts he openly admitted in our presence,” the pro-life advocate said.

Atteberry called Erickson’s actions “troubling” and said he has exhibited a “callousness” towards his former girlfriend and that he was “dishonest” in asking her group for an endorsement at the same time he paid for his ex-partner’s endorsement.

“Erickson has become so tainted by his actions that it is now impossible for him to win this Fall. Many Republicans will not vote for him and Democrats will take advantage of the media’s coverage of Mike’s character flaws. Honestly, Mike should withdraw from the race,” Atteberry concluded.

Erickson spoke out on Thursday about the revelations for the first time in an interview with The Oregonian.

He admitted to dating the woman for a couple of months in 2000 and said he gave her money to cover financial problems but said he never knew she became pregnant.

"I never asked anybody in my life to have an abortion," Erickson said. "Did I pay for an abortion? Absolutely not."

Erickson is battling Kevin Mannix, a long-time pro-life advocate and Oregon elected official who Oregon Right to Life is supporting.

In the statement, Atteberry encouraged voters to give Mannix their support.

Related web sites:
Oregon Right to Life – https://www.ortl.org