Career I Tina Kotek for Oregon Governor

Kotek, who would be among the first openly LGBTQ governors in the nation (following current Oregon Gov. Kate Brown and Colorado’s Jared Polis), says there are still too many barriers to reach abortion in her state: 78 percent of Oregon counties currently lack an abortion provider.


To address this, Kotek says she helped pass a bill creating a $15 million fund to support Oregonians and out-of-state patients who can’t afford reproductive care like abortion. As for lacking abortion providers, the candidate says she’s been “hearing health care professionals want to move to Oregon because they know they can operate freely and give the kind of care that’s being outlawed in other states.” As governor, she would welcome “an influx of providers.” Expanding the ranks of those who can provide abortion care is key, as we sorely need more abortion providers, especially given the increased threat of criminal charges against providers.

As right-wing and “moderate” candidates (which Johnson claims to be) increasingly come to terms with the unpopularity of abortion bans, we’ll inevitably see more candidates try to market themselves as “middle of the road” on abortion. Just last week, Arizona U.S. Senate candidate Blake Masters deleted a page on his website detailing his support for abortion bans, as did Tom Barrett, the Republican nominee for Michigan’s 7th Congressional district, over the weekend—sensing a pattern?


Frontrunner Drazan has been pretty vague about her specific abortion stances, beyond the ambiguous offering that she’ll “follow existing law.” And it’s simply not enough to wear a “pro-choice” sticker, as Johnson does. Every governor should be exhausting all avenues available to them to expand abortion access for those in their states and abortion seekers from across the country. Governors in 2022 America are either doing everything they can to protect a fundamental human right, or they’re falling short.

“This is no time for halfsies,” Kotek told me. “Abortion access has galvanized voters—especially young voters, young women voters—across the state. And I’m not the only woman, but [I am] the only champion on reproductive freedom in this race.”