Subject: Miss Oregon Pageant Winner Emphasizes Abortion-Breast Cancer Link
Source: The Daily Astorian (OR); July 15, 2002
Miss Oregon Pageant Winner Emphasizes Abortion-Breast Cancer Link
Salem, OR -- Brita Stream was crowned Saturday night as Miss Oregon 2002
before an estimated crowd of 850 at the Seaside Civic and Convention Center.
But Stream, a 22 year-old health development and family sciences major at
oregon State University, emphasized an issue in her pageant platform rarely
tackled by other contestants -- a pro-life perspective on abortion.
Her win capped off three days of intense competition between 21 women vying
for a title – and the $13,000 in scholarship money that came with it.
"This gives me the chance to wear a crown for something I'm passionate
about," said Stream when asked why she deserved to be Miss Oregon just
minutes before she was announced as the winner.
Stream, who earned the right to compete at the state level by winning her
local pageant, wowed the crowd in the talent portion Saturday with her
rendition of Etta James' love song "At Last." However, it comes with no
small amount of irony that Stream, from liberal-minded Eugene, Oregon, won
a women's scholarship competition advocating a pro-life issue and educating
about the abortion-breast cancer link.
"I think the word 'abortion' often ruffles people's feathers," said Stream,
who said earlier in the evening that half of women who have an abortion
increase their risk of breast cancer if they don't have children at a later
time. "But this is a health issue, not a political one."
A previous Miss Oregon winner took a different tack on pregnancy issues
saying her term as the state's Miss Oregon was as stressful as being
"It's like giving birth," quipped Miss Oregon 2001 Heidi Rickey as she
helped prepare the crowd and judges for the selection of her successor.
"I've called it my 'Miss Oregon pregnancy,' and man am I glad it's over."
"This is a life goal I'd only been working on for four months," said
Stream, who said she now will cancel her earlier plans to move to New York
City so she can train for the upcoming national pageant. "I'd never
considered being in a pageant before, but God's brought me this far."
Miss Oregon will defend her pro-life platform and represent her state at
the Miss America Pageant Sept. 21, televised on ABC.