Sources Say “Pro-Life” Congressional Candidate Paid for Abortion

Scott Swenson

"Pro-Life" GOP candidate for Congress Mike Erickson will have a much harder time denying today's damning expose in The Oregonian. Allegations from his primary opponent about having paid for an abortion have been proven in this well sourced article.

During the Oregon primary we covered the allegations made against "Pro-Life" GOP candidate for Congress Mike Erickson, by his Republican opponent Kevin Mannix. Erickson won the primary, and today, The Oregonian moves the story from political allegation to hard facts, supported by several sources. From the story:

Tawnya, now 34, recalled sitting with Erickson in his new
Mercedes that January, parked across from the abortion
clinic. "I was bawling so hard I couldn’t speak. He looked
so sad. He looked like he cared," she said. "I asked him, ‘Are you sure you don’t want a
baby?’ " she said.

"He shook his head. I
opened the door, got out bawling and crossed the street and
walked up to the clinic." Erickson, 45, said he dated Tawnya "for a couple of
months."

He told The Oregonian he didn’t remember
many details about their relationship, including where they
met or when they dated. He said she betrayed no emotion
during the car ride. "Did I pay for an abortion? Absolutely not,"
Erickson said.

Like This Story?

Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

Donate Now

"She was having some financial troubles," he said.
"She asked for some money to go have a doctor’s
appointment — not knowing what that was — and whatever
happened, happened, I guess. I didn’t even know she had
an abortion."

Erickson has campaigned on a strict anti-abortion platform
that favors abstinence education and adoption over abortion.
His opponent in last month’s primary, Kevin Mannix,
spotlighted the abortion story in a mass mailing to voters a
week before the election. Mannix did so without
Tawnya’s knowledge or consent.

 

 

The story, based on documentation and conversations with multiple sources, goes on to detail a trip Erickson and Tawnya took as friends, with other friends, after the abortion. His denial about knowing that the money he provided was for an abortion rings even more hollow when reading about his accounting of the trip:

"It wasn’t like we
were on a boyfriend-girlfriend trip," Erickson said.
"We were friends, mostly." Erickson said he’s almost certain he did not spend an
intimate evening with Tawnya in Mexico. "I don’t think I did," he said. "I
don’t believe I did."

 

Either you had sex in Mexico or you didn’t, and even if it wasn’t that memorable, you’d probably recall.

Mike Erickson is a metaphor for what is happening in the "Pro-Life" movement this election cycle. The hypocrisy, evident for everyone to see, is not just that he claims to be "Pro-Life" while paying for his girlfriend’s abortion, but also in the fact that the entire "Pro-Life" movement is morally bankrupt. Promoting abstinence-only, making contraception more difficult to access, and outlawing abortion does nothing to prevent unintended pregnancies. Had Roe v. Wade been overturned when this happened, would Erickson have acted differently? Would the pregnancy miraculously not have happened?

The image of this man, in his Mercedes, giving a woman who makes $13.37/hour, $300 for "medical help" that he claims he didn’t know the reason for, is akin to people of means knowing they will always be able to get access to health care needs, whatever they may be, while denying those same rights to others. Erickson is not talking about preventing abortions in his campaign, he is talking about prohibiting them, overturning Roe v. Wade, because as a person of wealth and power, he’ll always find a way around the law. He’ll always be able to look reporters in the eye and deny reality.

The question in this election is not about ending abortion by overturning Roe v. Wade, it is about electing people who believe in education, prevention and providing necessary reproductive health care to all women. Reproducitve health care that includes contraception, so that unintended pregnancies, like the one this "Pro-Life" candidate helped create, are more rare, and that women who choose to terminate those unintended pregnancies, as this "Pro-Life" candidate encouraged her to do, can access the same safe, legal care Tawnya did.

The "Pro-Life" movement can continue to make Roe v. Wade a litmus test, pretending that changing the law will eliminate abortion. The reality of one of their own candidates, Mike Erickson, suggests otherwise.

News Politics

Tim Kaine Changes Position on Federal Funding for Abortion Care

Ally Boguhn

The Obama administration, however, has not signaled support for rolling back the Hyde Amendment's ban on federal funding for abortion care.

Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA), the Democratic Party’s vice presidential candidate, has promised to stand with nominee Hillary Clinton in opposing the Hyde Amendment, a ban on federal funding for abortion care.

Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, told CNN’s State of the Union Sunday that Kaine “has said that he will stand with Secretary Clinton to defend a woman’s right to choose, to repeal the Hyde amendment,” according to the network’s transcript.

“Voters can be 100 percent confident that Tim Kaine is going to fight to protect a woman’s right to choose,” Mook said.

The commitment to opposing Hyde was “made privately,” Clinton spokesperson Jesse Ferguson later clarified to CNN’s Edward Mejia Davis.

Like This Story?

Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

Donate Now

Kaine’s stated support for ending the federal ban on abortion funding is a reversal on the issue for the Virginia senator. Kaine this month told the Weekly Standard  that he had not “been informed” that this year’s Democratic Party platform included a call for repealing the Hyde Amendment. He said he has “traditionally been a supporter of the Hyde amendment.”

Repealing the Hyde Amendment has been an issue for Democrats on the campaign trail this election cycle. Speaking at a campaign rally in New Hampshire in January, Clinton denounced Hyde, noting that it made it “harder for low-income women to exercise their full rights.”

Clinton called the federal ban on abortion funding “hard to justify” when asked about it later that month at the Brown and Black Presidential Forum, adding that “the full range of reproductive health rights that women should have includes access to safe and legal abortion.”

Clinton’s campaign told Rewire during her 2008 run for president that she “does not support the Hyde amendment.”

The Democratic Party on Monday codified its commitment to opposing Hyde, as well as the Helms Amendment’s ban on foreign assistance funds being used for abortion care. 

The Obama administration, however, has not signaled support for rolling back Hyde’s ban on federal funding for abortion care.

When asked about whether the president supported the repeal of Hyde during the White House press briefing Tuesday, Deputy Press Secretary Eric Schultz said he did not “believe we have changed our position on the Hyde Amendment.”

When pushed by a reporter to address if the administration is “not necessarily on board” with the Democratic platform’s call to repeal Hyde, Schultz said that the administration has “a longstanding view on this and I don’t have any changes in our position to announce today.”

News Politics

Democratic Party Platform: Repeal Bans on Federal Funding for Abortion Care

Ally Boguhn

When asked this month about the platform’s opposition to Hyde, Hillary Clinton’s running mate Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) said that he had not “been informed of that” change to the platform though he has “traditionally been a supporter of the Hyde Amendment.”

Democrats voted on their party platform Monday, codifying for the first time the party’s stated commitment to repealing restrictions on federal funding for abortion care.

The platform includes a call to repeal the Hyde Amendment, an appropriations ban on federal funding for abortion reimplemented on a yearly basis. The amendment disproportionately affects people of color and those with low incomes.

“We believe unequivocally, like the majority of Americans, that every woman should have access to quality reproductive health care services, including safe and legal abortion—regardless of where she lives, how much money she makes, or how she is insured,” states the Democratic Party platform. “We will continue to oppose—and seek to overturn—federal and state laws and policies that impede a woman’s access to abortion, including by repealing the Hyde Amendment.”

The platform also calls for an end to the Helms Amendment, which ensures that “no foreign assistance funds may be used to pay for the performance of abortion as a method of family planning.”

Like This Story?

Your $10 tax-deductible contribution helps support our research, reporting, and analysis.

Donate Now

Though Helms allows funding for abortion care in cases of rape, incest, and life endangerment, the Obama administration has failed to enforce those guarantees.

Despite the platform’s opposition to the restrictions on abortion care funding, it makes no mention of how the anti-choice measures would be rolled back.

Both presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) have promised to address Hyde and Helms if elected. Clinton has said she would “fix the Helms Amendment.”

Speaking at the Iowa Brown and Black Presidential Forum in January, Clinton said that the Hyde Amendment “is just hard to justify because … certainly the full range of reproductive health rights that women should have includes access to safe and legal abortion.” In 2008, Clinton’s campaign told Rewire that she “does not support the Hyde amendment.”

When asked this month about the platform’s opposition to Hyde, Clinton’s running mate Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) said in an interview with the Weekly Standard that he had not “been informed of that” change to the platform though he has “traditionally been a supporter of the Hyde amendment.”

“The Hyde amendment and Helms amendment have prevented countless low-income women from being able to make their own decisions about health, family, and future,” NARAL President Ilyse Hogue said in a statement, addressing an early draft of the platform. “These amendments have ensured that a woman’s right to a safe and legal abortion is a right that’s easier to access if you have the resources to afford it. That’s wrong and stands directly in contrast with the Democratic Party’s principles, and we applaud the Party for reaffirming this in the platform.”