Audio: Mark Robinson’s endgame is a total abortion ban, starting with a 6-week ban

North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, a Republican candidate for North Carolina governor, speaks at a rally Friday, Jan. 26, 2024, in Roxboro, N.C. (AP Photo/Chris Seward)

By Keya Vakil, Isabel Soisson

February 15, 2024

New audio reveals that North Carolina’s Republican gubernatorial frontrunner Mark Robinson “absolutely” wants to ban abortion at conception and plans to start with a six-week ban.

The audio, obtained by Fox 46 Carolinas, is from a campaign event earlier this month and features a female attendee asking Robinson, the state’s current lieutenant governor, if he’ll try to ban abortions from the moment of conception.

“I know you’ve taken heat on wanting to protect life from conception. When you’re governor, will you still work with the legislature to do that?” the woman asks.

Robinson wasted no time easing her concerns and said his “goal” was to make the state’s existing 12-week ban even stricter.

“Oh absolutely, absolutely,” Robinson said. “We’ve got to do it the same way they rolled it forward, we’ve got to do it the same, rolling it back.”

“We’ve got it down to 12 weeks. The next goal is to get it down to six, and then just keep moving from there,” he continued. 

Many women don’t learn they’re pregnant until after six weeks, thus Robinson’s proposal would effectively function as a near-total abortion ban.

Robinson’s new remarks are just the latest in a long and well-documented anti-abortion record that includes support for a complete abortion ban, without exceptions for rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.

“For me, there is no compromise on abortion. It makes no difference to me why or how that child ended up in that womb,” he said in July 2020 during his campaign for lieutenant governor.

Robinson has referred to abortion as “murder” and “genocide” and has asserted that once a woman is pregnant “it’s not [her] body anymore.” As CNN has reported, Robinson also described abortion providers as “butchers of humanity” and referred to women who get abortions as murderers. 

“You know, I ain’t supposed to say this, but I’m going to say it,” Robinson said in a July 2021 speech at a church. “I don’t care whether you just got pregnant. I don’t care if you’re 24 hours pregnant. I don’t care if you’re 24 weeks pregnant. I don’t care. If you kill that young’un. It is murder. You got blood on your hands.”

When the Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade in 2022, Robinson said in a statement that he was “overjoyed” by the decision and that he had been “praying” for such a thing to happen. 

A week after Roe was overturned, Robinson reiterated his extreme stance on abortion.

“I want North Carolina to be the most pro-life state in the nation. Hands down,” Robinson said in a speech posted on Facebook. “Abortion is murder. It’s a scourge on this nation. It needs to go.”

Robinson also wrote in his 2022 memoir that supporters of abortion rights were “morally reprehensible.”

In January of 2023, 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 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,” Robinson said. 

In February of last year, Robinson reiterated his support for a total abortion ban, stating 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.”

Three North Carolina House Republicans introduced a bill last year that would have banned abortion at conception, but the legislation failed to advance. 

In May of 2023, however, the Republican-controlled legislature passed a 12-week abortion ban, with exceptions for rape and incest up to 20 weeks, for “life-limiting” fetal anomalies up to 24 weeks, and to save the life of the mother throughout the pregnancy. The law also added several barriers to abortion care, including as many as three in-person office visits for medication abortions, and in-person counseling 72 hours before all abortions. 

The 12-week ban passed despite widespread opposition from the public, business leaders, reproductive health advocates, and more than 1,400 North Carolina medical professionals, who warned that any and all abortion bans are dangerous for patients and providers.

Shortly after the ban passed, state House Speaker Tim Moore told reporters the legislature could pursue additional restrictions in 2025. Robinson also made clear he hoped that the state’s anti-abortion laws would become even stricter after the 2024 elections.

“It gives ourselves the opportunity to set ourselves up to get ready to continue to move the ball,” Robinson said of the 12-week ban in a radio interview last May. “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.”

Robinson has tried to soften his stance in recent months and has tried to avoid using the word abortion, due to the unpopularity of his positions.

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.”

Robinson is expected to win the Republican gubernatorial primary in March, and will likely face off Democrat Josh Stein in November.

Stein, the current state attorney general, is a staunch defender of reproductive rights.


  • Keya Vakil

    Keya Vakil is the deputy political editor at COURIER. He previously worked as a researcher in the film industry and dabbled in the political world.

  • Isabel Soisson

    Isabel Soisson is a multimedia journalist who has worked at WPMT FOX43 TV in Harrisburg, along with serving various roles at CNBC, NBC News, Philadelphia Magazine, and Philadelphia Style Magazine.


Local News

Related Stories
Share This