For months, NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon PAC and other leading reproductive rights groups have called on Republican gubernatorial candidate Knute Buehler to answer for public statements condemning abortion despite his alleged “pro-choice” choice position. It is now clear that Buehler told anti-abortion supporters he would ban 80 percent of abortions statewide, according to new audio released by Eugene Republican Senate candidate Scott Rohter.
Rohter told Salem Radio that Buehler has pledged to sign a bill barring abortion after 8 weeks of pregnancy, once a fetus is “pain-capable.”
“Knute has promised that he will sign a pain-capable bill that at that point, abortion is no longer allowed,” Rohter said.
Host Jeff Kropf, a former Republican state legislator, responded to Rohter’s revelation, “Knute is willing to sign legislation and has said so publicly on the pain-capable issue and that would knock out about 80 percent of the abortions.”
The exchange on conservative talk radio exposed a key problem in Buehler’s bid for statewide office: Buehler tells some voters that he’s pro-choice and then tells others that he will work to restrict access to abortion. Buehler is trying to win votes, but can’t be trusted to do the right thing.
Kropf said, “Your point is everyone who says they’re not going to vote for Knute because he’s pro-choice is missing the point that Knute is willing to sign legislation — he said so publicly — on the ‘pain capable issue.’”
Rohter responded, “You can have your beliefs, but they don’t do anything if you don’t get elected. And Knute’s trying to become a Republican governor in a largely Democrat state.”
The pledge flies in the face of Buehler’s campaign rhetoric, which attempts to wipe away his vote against protecting abortion rights in the Oregon Legislature.
“Buehler can’t be trusted when it comes to protecting the right to safe, legal abortion,” said Grayson Dempsey, Executive Director of the NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon PAC. “In a time when reproductive rights are more threated than ever before, there is no room for uncertainty in Oregon’s leaders.”
Full audio of Rohter’s interview with 104.3 FM KSLM is available here.
NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon PAC has endorsed Governor Kate Brown based on her longtime support of reproductive rights and abortion access. Governor Brown signed the Reproductive Health Equity Act in 2017, the most comprehensive piece of reproductive health legislation in the country, which codified the right to legal abortion in Oregon.