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RFK Jr. confirms he supports legal abortion up until birth in new interview – LifeSite

(LifeSiteNews) – Democrat environmental activist turned independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. erased all doubt this week as to his pro-abortion absolutism, declaring that he opposes legal protection for even fully-developed preborn babies at the end of pregnancy.

In an interview released Wednesday, podcaster Sage Steele asked Kennedy, “Should there be a limit or are you saying all the way up to full term a woman has a right to have an abortion?” 

The candidate, nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy and son of the late Attorney General Robert Kennedy, expressed skepticism that a mother would abort in the eighth month or later without “extenuating circumstances,” but maintained that government should never have “jurisdiction over people’s bodies” and that abortion should not be forbidden “even if it’s full term.” 

NBC News observes that the answer conflicts with the impression Kennedy’s running mate, technologist Nicole Shanahan, conveyed in an interview with Steele the week before. 

“My understanding with Bobby’s position is that, you know, every abortion is a tragedy, is a loss of life,” she said then. “My understanding is that he absolutely believes in limits on abortion, and we’ve talked about this. I do not think, I don’t know where (the idea he supports full-term abortions) came from. That is not my understanding of his position and I think maybe there was a miscommunication there.”

The comments follow multiple previous confirmations that Kennedy remains “pro-choice” on abortion despite breaking from his former party’s conventional wisdom on some issues, this time removing all ambiguity as to the extent of his position. He confirmed in an interview last month that he “would sign a federal law that guaranteed women have a right to choose,” putting him in alignment with Democrat President Joe Biden’s calls to federally codify Roe v. Wade.

Weeks later, he released a formal policy position on his website purporting to offer a “way forward” from the typical abortion debate by maintaining legal abortion while massively subsidizing daycare for low-income families and increasing child tax credits and funding for pregnancy support charities, which he claimed “will do more to lower abortion rates than any coercive measure ever could.”

Alleviating the financial “need” for abortion through new welfare programs has long been floated by earnest policy analysts as well as politicians looking to split the difference between abortion supporters and opponents. Data suggests that just under a quarter of women who obtain abortions cite the costs of having children as their reason why, meaning that even if successful, such a policy would leave more than 75% of abortions unaffected. Further, Kennedy’s rhetoric ignores a large body of evidence showing that pro-life laws successfully prevent abortions and raise birth rates.

Kennedy announced last April he would be running in the Democrat primary against incumbent Biden, presenting himself as a challenger to the orthodoxies of both parties. But after months of contending that party leadership had “rigged” the primary process against him, Kennedy decided in October to switch to an independent bid, generating interest in his potential to upend the race between Biden and his Republican opponent, former President Donald Trump, given deep dissatisfaction with both major candidates.

RFK’s reminders of his radicalism on abortion followed the announcement of Shanahan as his running mate, which sparked vocal disappointment from many who had previously expressed varying degrees of sympathy and support for him and had been expecting a running mate less aligned with conventional Democrat politics. Others reacted by arguing the choice should not have been surprising given the various left-wing positions Kennedy retains despite having won praise from the Right over his opposition to COVID-19 vaccines and mandates.

Biden is running on his absolutist pro-abortion record, while presumptive Republican nominee Trump, governed as pro-life in his first term but now distances himself from calls for further federal pro-life action, declaring the issue should be left to the states. 

Polls currently indicate a razor-thin popular vote but a 313-225 victory for Trump in the Electoral College, although voters also say that convictions in Trump’s various ongoing legal battles would make them less likely to support him. However, serious concern among Democrats over Biden’s age and mental health, and deep dissatisfaction with his job performance, give the current president comparable electoral challenges.

How Kennedy’s run will impact the race has long been a subject of speculation, given he appeals both to Democrats who want a more mentally capable and seemingly less extreme liberal, and Republicans who prefer his COVID stance to Trump’s record on the subject. Perhaps fearing his vulnerability on the issue, Trump has recently taken to claiming RFK is “fake” on the issue of vaccines.

At the moment, the aforementioned polls suggest Kennedy draws roughly the same number of votes from both Trump and Biden. But given how close many are predicting the election to be, concern persists over how even small defections could impact the outcome.

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