Catlin Gabel School, Catlin Speak
On Oct. 3, several hundred people gathered at The Nines Hotel in Portland, Oregon to hear Gov. Kitzhaber endorse the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws (NARAL) Pro-Choice Oregon.
Many of the people present were from women democratic groups or there to hear keynote speakers. Most tables were hosted by political candidates running for house districts. The tone of the event was charged with the energy of an encroaching election, but the underlying message was defensive. Oregon is trying to protect its pro-choice majority house and senate, as it is the last state to have no restrictions on legal abortion.
The luncheon focused on celebrating NARAL’s strident role in protecting women’s reproductive rights and also gave political representatives a platform on which to offer a statement about how they will protect women’s right to choose during their candidacy. Kitzhaber endorses NARAL and in turn NARAL provided Kitzhaber with an event whose media would further convince the democratic constituency to reelect him.
NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon has identified 200,000 pro-choice Oregon voters. With avid campaigning and phone-banking, the organization urges Oregon to vote with equal rights in mind this November.
During Kitzhaber’s speech he confirmed that what people vote on in regard to abortion rights is “not about politics, it’s about fairness.”
Kitzhaber went on to say that preventing a woman from the choice to have an abortion is wrongheaded because no one should pick between paying for abortion care and contraception options rather than putting food on the table. On this point Kitzhaber stated, “We all need to be able to meet our basic needs.”