PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Oregon Democratic gubernatorial candidate Tina Kotek held a press conference Wednesday alongside reproductive rights leaders. 

The event was meant to highlight the stakes for abortion access in November. It’s taking place a day before Idaho enacts a near-total ban on abortion. 

“Tomorrow, our neighbors will lose the fundamental right to make decisions about their bodies and their futures,” Kotek said at the press conference.

Kotek said she fought for abortion access in Oregon while serving in the House of Representatives because she knew there would come a time when Supreme Court judges appointed by President Donald Trump would overturn Roe v. Wade.

On Friday, a new Idaho law already banned abortions beyond six weeks of pregnancy. Thursday’s law will take it one step further, making all abortions illegal except for situations where patients can provide a police report in cases of rape or incest, or if the mother’s life is in danger. 

Physicians who provide abortions outside these few exceptions could face up to five years in prison. 

At Kotek’s event Wednesday, she was joined by An Do, executive director of the Planned Parenthood PAC of Oregon; Christel Allen, executive director of Pro-Choice Oregon; and Courtney Helstein, political director of The Mother PAC. 

According to the Oregon Secretary of State, the Planned Parenthood PAC of Oregon has donated $5,000 to Kotek’s 2022 campaign. Pro-Choice Oregon gave $300 to Kotek in 2008 when she was a state representative. The Mother PAC has given $4,000 to Kotek since 2010. 

“I will make sure Oregon is a beacon for people around the country who need access to this fundamental healthcare,” Kotek said at the press conference. “These decisions should be between a woman and her doctor.”

The Pro-Choice Oregon PAC has previously given $1,500 total to Kotek’s opponent, Betsy Johnson, who’s running unaffiliated in the race for governor. The contributions were issued in 2008 and 2010. 

Kotek claims she is the one candidate that Oregonians can count on to defend abortion access, but Johnson told KOIN 6 News after Roe v. Wade was overturned that she is also a “pro-choice candidate.”  

“I’m unequivocal about my position on choice. There’s two pro-choice candidates and one anti-choice candidate,” Johnson told KOIN 6 News. “And frankly I resent the fact that Ms. Kotek says I am equivocal on this issue. I served on a Planned Parenthood board here in Oregon, I’ll submit to you, before she became an Oregonian.”

Johnson said she left the Republican party on the issue of abortion rights. She believes it’s a “core value” in Oregon and said if she’s elected governor, Oregon will remain a “pro-choice state.”

At the event Wednesday, Allen from Pro-Choice Oregon said the PAC cannot support Johnson in the race for governor due to bills Johnson has voted against in recent years.

In an interview with KOIN Wednesday, Johnson responded to that statement saying her voting history absolutely does not mean she’ll change things when it comes to abortion rights in Oregon.

“I reject the premise and I think that is not true. You want to look at the anti-choice person in this race? It’s Christine Drazan. For them to suggest that I’m not pro-choice, I reject unequivocally,” she said.

Johnson said the one abortion-related issue she and Kotek disagree on is using Oregon funds to support out-of-state abortion access. Johnson believes Oregon funds should stay in Oregon.

When it comes to the law Idaho plans to enact Thursday, Johnson called it “draconian.”

“There are parts of it that are just unbelievable to me. I believe it’ll be challenged in law,” she said. “That’s why we have to have a pro-choice governor in Oregon and I am that pro-choice governor.”

Republican gubernatorial candidate Christine Drazan told KOIN 6 News in July that she’s a “pro-life woman.” 

“It is a faith-based decision for me and I don’t shy away from that. Recognizing as well that Oregon law has enshrined in Oregon law every feature of Roe v Wade and despite the Supreme Court ruling there is in fact no uncertainty within the State of Oregon for what abortion services will remain,” she said. 

Drazan said if a bill came to her desk to expand abortion access she would veto it. But she does not plan to proactively push laws to limit abortion rights in Oregon in the Democrat-controlled legislature. 

KOIN requested a new statement from Drazan regarding abortion. She did not send a statement before deadline.