Republican gubernatorial candidate Mark Robinson confirmed in a radio interview this morning that the North Carolina GOP abortion ban doesn’t go far enough, according to reporting from WRAL. He reiterated his support for legislation that bans abortion before most women even know they’re pregnant and explicitly said that the abortion ban passed last night sets Republicans up “to get ready to move the ball” after the 2024 elections.
“This morning Mark Robinson confirmed what we already know – he is a dangerous extremist that would take abortion rights all the way back even in the case of rape and incest,” said NCDP spokesperson Kate Frauenfelder. “The stakes of the Governor’s race in 2024 could not be higher and North Carolinians are fired up more than ever to ensure that overreaching, anti-choice politicians like Mark Robinson are defeated at the ballot box next November.”
WRAL: ‘Just the beginning’: NC Republicans say more abortion restrictions possible after 2024 elections
- If the GOP wins more seats in the state legislature next year, or if a Republican governor is elected, then social conservatives would have more wiggle room to pass stricter abortion rules that don’t enjoy unanimous support within the GOP.
- Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, a Republican who is running for governor, said earlier this year that if he is elected governor in 2024 he would sign a law fully banning all abortions — with no exceptions for anything, including rape, incest or to save the mother’s life.
- Robinson has since somewhat softened his approach, changing his stance in his speech last month when he officially announced his run for governor. He now says he would support a fetal heartbeat ban, which is typically a ban on abortions after six weeks.
- He repeated that Wednesday, in an interview with conservative talk radio host KC O’Dea, and again said he hopes the rules continue to become 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. “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.”
- Other conservatives — including Sawyer — view even Robinson’s newer stance on a six-week heartbeat abortion ban as politically untenable in a swing state like North Carolina. She said in the interview earlier this month that GOP leaders carefully researched how each part of the bill polled before they unveiled it to the public.
- “We did not go extreme, like some other states, with banning of abortion at six weeks,” Sawyer said. “Now, some of my Republican brethren hate — are not very excited about that. ‘We didn’t go far enough.’ But I say to them, we are right where North Carolinians want to be.”
- She added that there are real consequences to going too far, not just for the women affected but for the politicians pushing those rules: “If we go too far, then voters, like they have in other states, will tell us we went too far.”
- Democrats are counting on Robinson to continue voicing his opinions on abortion, hoping it will sink his chances of becoming governor and help Attorney General Josh Stein — the Democratic Party favorite — succeed Cooper as governor.
- Less than an hour after Tuesday’s vote, Stein issued a statement tapping into fears among Democrats that more restrictions were in the offing.
- “Make no mistake — this is only the beginning,” Stein said. “In 2024, we’re up against politicians like Mark Robinson who want to make abortion illegal for any reason even in cases of rape or incest. Over the next 16 months and next November, we must choose freedom and we must win elections.”
- State Democratic Party spokesperson Kate Frauenfelder added in a press release Wednesday: “Mark Robinson is even more extreme than his Republican colleagues in the legislature and if elected Governor, he wants to make abortion illegal for any reason even in the case of rape or incest. We will keep working to hold him and the extreme field of GOP candidates accountable to ensure that their dangerous agenda does not become a reality for North Carolinians next fall.”
- The other Republican candidate for governor, N.C. Treasurer Dale Folwell, has said that he does support expects for rape, incest and the save the life of the mother. He would’ve signed this law if he had been governor now, he said. A potential third contender, former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker, has a rally planned Saturday where he might announce his own run for governor.