Gary Johnson on Abortion
Libertarian presidential nominee; former Republican NM Governor
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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