North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson is running to be the state’s next governor, and is considered the frontrunner for the Republican nomination.
But Robinson’s long history of conspiratorial, far-right rhetoric and anti-abortion views could pose a threat to his candidacy in what is one of the nation’s most competitive swing states.
Robinson is on the record calling abortion “murder,” and has asserted that once a woman is pregnant “it’s not [her] body anymore.”
When the Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade last year, Robinson said in a statement that he was “overjoyed” by the decision and that he had been “praying” for such a thing to happen.
In January, Robinson was the keynote speaker at North Carolina Right to Life’s 25th annual Rally and March for Life. He delivered an anti-abortion speech and said that he hoped North Carolina would become a “destination for life.”
He also compared the ability of women to make their own reproductive and health care choices to slavery.
“Abortion is not compatible with this nation, the same way slavery was not compatible with this nation,” he said.
In February, Robinson said that if he were governor and “had a willing legislature, we could pass a bill saying you can’t have an abortion in North Carolina for any reason.”
In May, the North Carolina legislature passed Senate Bill 20, which instituted a 12-week abortion ban. Although the legislation has received pushback from many different groups, Robinson confirmed in a radio interview in May that the ban doesn’t go far enough.
He reiterated that he would support a complete abortion ban, with no exceptions for rape, incest, or the life of the mother, and said that Republicans should “get ready to move the ball” after the 2024 elections.
“And when I say to move the ball, what I mean is to continue to try to save lives in the womb, and to continue to do the hard work it’s going to take to enhance those lives once those individuals are born,” he said.
He has since somewhat altered his stance, saying he would instead support a six-week ban, which is before most women even know they’re pregnant and thus would effectively still function as a total ban.
Robinson’s anti-abortion stance has proven particularly infuriating to supporters of reproductive rights, because his wife made the decision to terminate a pregnancy in 1989, something he says they deeply regret.
“I’m not saying abortion is wrong because I said so, it’s wrong because God says so,” Robinson wrote on Facebook in 2012. “It’s wrong when others do it, and it was wrong when I paid for it to be done to my unborn child in 1989.”
Most recently, Robinson said in August that he believes the best way to promote a “culture of life” in North Carolina is through one-on-one conversations and support for pregnant women.
“The harmful consequences of abortion bans extend beyond abortion care. Some patients in other states are receiving substandard care for miscarriages, ectopic pregnancies, and even cancer treatment because of uncertainty created by restrictive laws,” the group of medical professionals wrote in a letter to state lawmakers earlier this year.
“These laws put the health and well-being of patients and their families at risk,” the letter continues. “You trust us when you come into our clinics and our hospitals for your medical needs. We ask for your trust now. Keep the government out of exam rooms.”
Robinson’s team did not respond to a request for comment.
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