Gary Johnson on Abortion

Libertarian presidential nominee; former Republican NM Governor


Law of the land is Casey v. Planned Parenthood; I'll keep it

Q: On your website, you state that a woman's right to choose is the law of the land. However, states like Texas continuously put laws in place that restrict abortion services. What would you do about Texas?

JOHNSON: Well, what people don't understand right now, it is the law of the land. The law of the land currently is not Roe v. Wade. It's Casey v. Planned Parenthood. And the law of the land is, is that a woman has the right to have an abortion up to the point of viability of the fetus, and the Supreme Court has defined viability of the fetus as sustaining the life of the fetus outside of the womb, even if by artificial means. That's the law of the land. We're not looking to change the law of the land in any way. And bottom line, what a difficult decision. Can there be a more difficult decision in anyone's life other than--and I'm talking about the woman now who's facing abortion--than that decision? But that's a decision that should lie strictly with the woman involved.

Source: CNN Libertarian Town Hall: joint interview of Johnson & Weld , Jun 22, 2016

Planned Parenthood does a lot of good

Q: Does the government have a role in protecting the right to choose that you say you hold inviolate?

A: We're not looking to change the law of the land. And [with regards to] Planned Parenthood, I think Republicans alienated a lot of people when they talk about de-funding Planned Parenthood. Planned Parenthood does a lot of good, and that starts with women's health.

Source: CNN Libertarian Town Hall: joint interview of Johnson & Weld , Jun 22, 2016

No funding for abortion; other restrictions ok

He calls himself pro-choice, but he's well to the right of Hillary Clinton -- supporting late-term abortion bans, parental-notification laws, and opposing public funding for abortion -- and he's indicated that he'd appoint judges "who will interpret the Constitution according to its original meaning." He also believes Roe v. Wade was wrongly decided because it "expanded the reach of the Federal government into areas of society never envisioned in the Constitution." In the past, Johnson has indicated that he'd rather leave abortion policy to the states.
Source: National Review, "Plausible Alternative," by David French , May 5, 2016

Government ill-equipped to address abortion; it's personal

Gary Johnson has the utmost respect for the deeply-held convictions of those on both sides of the abortion issue. It is an intensely personal question, and one that government is ill-equipped to answer.

As Governor, Johnson never advocated abortion or taxpayer funding of it. However, Gov. Johnson recognizes that the right of a woman to choose is the law of the land today, and has been for several decades. That right must be respected, and ultimately he believes this is a very personal and individual decision. He feels that each woman must be allowed to make decisions about her own health and well-being.

Further, Gov. Johnson feels strongly that women seeking to exercise their legal right must not be subjected to persecution or denied access to health services by politicians in Washington or elsewhere who are insistent on politicizing such an intensely personal and serious issue. As Governor Johnson did support a ban on late term abortions.

Source: 2016 Presidential campaign website GaryJohnson2016.com , May 26, 2015

Don't require insurers to provide birth control

Q: Should abortion be outlawed in the United States?

A: Let each state decide.

Q: Should the federal government fund stem cell research and legalize its development in the private sector?

A: No, but allow the private sector to explore potential benefits.

Q: Should the government require health insurance companies to provide free birth control?

A: No, let the insurance companies decide instead of a government mandate.

Source: Presidential comparison website www.iSideWith.com , May 16, 2012

No federal funding for stem cell research

Source: 2012 presidential campaign website, garyjohnson2012.com , Jan 18, 2012

Women's right to choose until fetal viability

Q: You have unorthodox takes, for a member of the GOP, on abortion.

A: I support women's rights to choose up until viability of the fetus. I've supported the notion of parental notification. I've supported counseling and I've supported the notion that public funds not be used for abortions. But I don't want for a second to pretend that I have a better idea of how a woman should choose when it comes to this situation. Fundamentally this is a choice that a woman should have.

Source: Tim Dickinson in Rolling Stone Magazine , Jun 15, 2011

Right to choose up until viability of the fetus

Q: Most Republicans and everyone else on the stage but you identified themselves as pro-life; you have said that abortion should be legal until the fetus is viable. How do you hope to woo conservative GOP voters with that position?

JOHNSON: I support a woman's right to choose up until viability of the fetus, as governor of New Mexico, I would have signed a bill banning late term abortion, I've always favored parental notification, I've always favored counseling and I've always favored the notion that public funds should not be used for abortion. So running for Governor of New Mexico in a state that was 2:1 Democrat, I really didn't get that vote in the primary, but I'd like to think that I got all of those votes in the general election and that's a reality here also, for those individuals that hold that as their number one issue, I'm not going to get that vote, I would hope to get that vote if I were to move on to the general election.

Source: 2011 GOP primary debate in South Carolina , May 5, 2011

Leave the decision up to the woman

Q: Where do you stand on abortion rights?

A: It should be left up to the woman. If my daughter were pregnant and she came to me and asked me what she ought to do, I would advise her to have the child. But I would not for a minute pretend that I should make that decision for her or any other woman.

Q: But you have supported legislation that requires parental consent and signed a ban on partial birth abortions.

A: I think the decision can be made at an earlier stage. That's why I don't support partial birth abortions. I realize it's a fine line, but I generally come down on a woman's right to decide.

Q: Do you disagree that parental consent is problematic for teenagers who can't talk to their parents?

A: I believe that parents ought to know. Where that can't occur, there needs to be a process in place, which we have in New Mexico.

Source: David Sheff interview in Playboy Magazine , Jan 1, 2001

Other candidates on Abortion: Gary Johnson on other issues:
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Donald Trump(R-NY)
Gov.Mike Pence(R-IN,VP)
Secy.Hillary Clinton(D-NY)
Sen.Tim Kaine(D-VA,VP)
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Gov.Bill Weld(L-MA,VP)
Dr.Jill Stein(G-MA)
Ajamu Baraka(G-VP)
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Page last updated: Oct 29, 2016