With Abortion Protection Bill Pending in Salem, Planned Parenthood Advocates Names Interim Leader

Jennifer Williamson served four terms in the Oregon House, rising to majority leader.

State Rep. Jennifer Williamson in 2019. (Justin Katigbak) (Jutin Katigbak)

It’s a fraught time for reproductive health in the United States. Although Oregon has strong protections for abortion, one of the state’s leading advocacy groups in that policy area, Pro-Choice Oregon, shut down last month after 50 years, despite the renewed risks that followed the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade last June.

Oregon lawmakers are currently considering House Bill 2002, which would strengthen protections and insurance coverage for abortions and gender-affirming care, but the state’s leading political force in that arena, Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon, is leaderless since executive director An Do became Gov. Tina Kotek’s communications director in January.

Stepping into the breach: former House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson (D-Portland), who will serve as interim director until the organization replaces Do. Williamson currently works for Strategies 360, a lobbying and political consulting firm that represents Planned Parenthood Advocates.

“It’s a critical time for reproductive health in Oregon and in the nation,” Williamson says. “Planned Parenthood Advocates is the only organization solely focused on that policy area in Oregon.”

HB 2022 is scheduled for a work session March 27 at 3 pm in front of the House Committee on Behavioral Heath and Health Care.

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