Betsy Johnson answers OPB’s questions on abortion

By OPB staff (OPB)
July 14, 2022 9 a.m.
Sen. Betsy Johnson, D-Warren, on the Senate floor at the Oregon State Capitol, May 18, 2021 in Salem, Ore.

Sen. Betsy Johnson, D-Warren, on the Senate floor at the Oregon State Capitol, May 18, 2021 in Salem, Ore.

Kristyna Wentz-Graff / OPB

Editor’s note: After the U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned the abortion protections written into Roe v. Wade, OPB reached out to the three leading candidates to become Oregon’s next governor to see where they fall on the issues. Here are unaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson’s responses to our written questions:


Would you support any restrictions to accessing abortions? (For example, late term abortions)


Would you support a constitutional amendment enshrining the right to access an abortion in the state constitution?


What years did you serve on the Planned Parenthood board? Why is this an issue that is so important to you? You have mentioned it’s a “bedrock” issue, could you offer more context?

Betsy served on the board of Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette from 1987-1993.


It is a fundamental right. As a woman, I don’t need to be asked why. I felt so strongly about it that I left the Republican party over it many years ago and I will continue to stand for a woman’s right to choose in the future.

Would you veto any legislation that attempted to restrict abortion access?

Yes, Oregon is clear where it stands and so am I.

Do you support using Oregon taxpayer dollars, for example the $15 million Oregon legislators set aside to create a reproductive health equity fund, to pay for abortions for residents who live outside of Oregon?

I am pro-choice. I support reproductive health clinics’ ability to provide a full range of services, but I think Oregon tax dollars should be spent on Oregonians.

What would you do if, while serving as governor, the federal government enacted a federal abortion ban?

The Supreme Court has given states the right to decide their laws governing abortion. As governor, I will always protect and defend Oregon’s right to choose, in law or in the constitution.

What is your position on gender-affirming care?

This is a complex and sensitive physical and mental health issue, especially for young people and their families. I am suspicious and concerned about the agenda that appears to be politicizing what should be an issue for medical professionals and families.

As governor, if future Supreme Court rulings reverse the legalization of gay marriage nationally, would you support legislation locally to do the same? Would you support a constitutional amendment to protect the right in Oregon?

No, I would not support restrictions on gay marriage. Yes, I would support a constitutional amendment to protect the right to gay marriage in Oregon.