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Chavez-DeRemer, Bynum share thoughts on national abortion legislation to mark 2 years since Roe v. Wade reversal

(Update: Adding video, comments from Janelle Bynum, Lori Chavez-DeRemer)

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ)-- Monday marked the second anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court reversing the 1973 Roe V. Wade ruling that crated a federal right to an abortion, leaving the decision now up to the states.

 In a heated election year, Democratic leaders are using this anniversary to share their support for reproductive health.

State Rep. Janelle Bynum, Democratic nominee to challenge Rep. Lori Chavez-DeRemer, said Monday of the first-term congresswoman: "Her idea of protecting women's reproductive rights is somewhere far right. it's within the MAGA extremists spectrum. And I don't think there's any room for that here."

The Fifth District challenger took aim at her incumbent opponent during a news conference Monday. The two are squaring off in a closely watched race this fall, looking to represent Central Oregon and areas to the west in Congress. 

Bynum said, "We are seeing that they are going after other forms of birth control, other forms of reproductive health care, until they get a full ban across the country - that is what this is about. Make no mistake she is saying that it's about states' rights - no. That's a 'screen,' in basketball."

But Chavez-DeRemer is pushing back, saying she respects Oregonians' attitude towards abortion. 

"It's up to Oregonians to decide where they want that to end up," she said. "And right now, it's legal and protected. And I'm not going to do anything to change that."

The congresswoman says she's even kept a national ban from making it to the House floor, telling NewsChannel 21 she would not support it. But she didn't elaborate further.

Oregon pro-life organization Oregon Right To Life says they support many of the decisions Chavez-DeRemer has made in Congress.

Executive Director Lois Anderson said, "I think she's really committed to voting in a way that is going to allow Oregon to continue to have a discussion about the limits they want to have on abortion."

The Supreme Court's reversal of Roe V. Wade did not change abortion laws in Oregon, as the procedure is protected under the Reproductive Health Equity Act, created in 2017.

But the state is still feeling the effects. Nearby states like Idaho that have made abortion illegal have led to thousands of patients traveling to Oregon for the procedure. 

NewsChannel 21 spoke with Planned Parenthood last year about the uptick in patients. Since August of 2022, the clinic said they had seen an increase of more than 1,000% in patients from Idaho receiving abortion-related care.

Bend Mayor Melanie Kebler showed her support for local reproductive health care at a rally downtown on Sunday.

"You cannot ban abortion. You can only ban safe abortion. Right? And you cannot. You cannot expect women to not be able to meet their needs, and they're going to travel to do it. They shouldn't have to do that," she said.

Article Topic Follows: Government-politics

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Isabella Warren

Isabella Warren is a multimedia journalist for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Isabellahere.


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