Republican politician suggests that women who have an abortion should face the death penaltyThe Independent
April 8, 2018
A Republican politician has said that women who have abortions should face the death penalty.
Bob Nonini, who is standing for lieutenant governor in Idaho, said anyone who had one "should pay".
"There should be no abortion," he told a crowd at a candidate forum event hosted by conservative Christian podcast, Cross Politic.
"Anyone who has an abortion should pay."
Pressed by moderators about the nature of the punishment, Mr Nonini nodded when asked if he supported the possibility of the death penalty for women who have abortions.
He has since denied that he supports the death penalty as punishment.
In a statement, he said that he was a "pro-life supporter" and that punishment should be focussed on those performing abortion procedures, rather than the women having them.
"Let me be clear - I have always been a pro-life supporter," he said. "That means classifying abortion as murder. Since abortion is murder, I believe we should consider penalties for individuals involved in those procedures.
"Prosecutions have always been focussed on the abortionist. There is no way a woman would go to jail, let alone face the death penalty."
But, the politician nonetheless said he believed that the threat of prosecution will deter women from having terminations.
"The statute alone, the threat of prosecution would dramatically reduce abortion," he said. "That is my goal."
The three-term state senator was forced to apologise earlier this year when he made an inappropriate comment about a Facebook post during anti-sexual harassment training.
"I made a comment that might have offended some people," he said. "I apologised to those sitting around me."
The full details of the comments have never been revealed.
At the most recent event, he was joined by two other Republican candidates at the event: Republican business woman Janice McGeachin, and former Idaho Republican Party Chairman, Steve Yates.
Both Ms McGeachin and Mr Yates agreed with Mr Nonini that abortion is murder, but stopped short of supporting charging women with a crime if they have a termination.
Mr Yates agreed with the criminalisation of abortion, but admitted that it may not reduce the number of women having procedures.
"In terms of criminalising things, I have no problem with that, except that it doesn't always solve the problem," he said.
Ms McGeachin meanwhile told the audience: "I cannot support a woman facing the death penalty for having an abortion.
"What we should be doing is preventing that."