Robert F. Kennedy Jr. says he misunderstood abortion question, does not support any federal ban

Democratic presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. said on Sunday that he'd sign a ban on abortions after three months, if elected, which was later retracted.

Aug 14, 2023 - 13:48
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Robert F. Kennedy Jr. says he misunderstood abortion question, does not support any federal ban

Robert F. Kennedy, who spent the weekend campaigning in Iowa, said in an interview he would support a ban on abortions on pregnancies three months or later if elected, according to reports, though his team later clarified the candidate's statement.

NBC reported that Kennedy made the statement during an interview at the Iowa State Fair on Sunday.

"I believe a decision to abort a child should be up to the women during the first three months of life," the Democratic presidential candidate said.

When asked if it meant he would sign a ban at 15 or 21 weeks, he said yes.

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"Once a child is viable outside the womb, I think then the state has an interest in protecting the child," Kennedy added. "I’m for medical freedom. Individuals are able to make their own choices."

President Biden’s challenger’s stance on abortion went to the beat of a different drum from most of the Democratic Party. The Supreme Court, on June 24, 2022, overturned Roe v. Wade, overturning the longstanding constitutional right to abortion access that had been established. 

On Sunday evening, Kennedy's team issued a statement, clarifying the candidate's position on abortion.

"Today, Mr. Kennedy misunderstood a question posed to him by a NBC reporter in a crowded, noisy exhibit hall at the Iowa State Fair," the statement read. "Mr. Kennedy's position on abortion is that it is always the woman's right to choose. He does not support legislation banning abortion."

During the interview, Kennedy said he would not have voted in support of the Inflation Reduction Act, which is considered a major win for the Democratic Party.

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He reportedly answered a question about the hundreds of billions of dollars going toward fighting climate change, saying, "They say that this is fighting climate change; it’s actually doing the opposite."

Kennedy agreed during the interview that former President Trump lost the 2020 election, and when asked if he thought Trump attempted to overturn the results, Kennedy reportedly said "it seems like he was trying to overturn it."

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Kennedy, an environmental lawyer, high-profile vaccine critic, and scion of arguably the nation’s most famous family political dynasty, is a long-shot for winning the Democratic Party’s support as the top pick to run for president.

In fact, the DNC is fully backing Biden as the president campaigns for a second four-year term in the White House, and at its winter meeting in February, it unanimously passed a resolution to commit its "full and complete support" for the reelection of Biden and Harris

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The DNC has said there will be no primary debates between Biden and his two nationally known challengers, Marianne Williamson, a bestselling self-help author and speaker, and Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the environmental lawyer and high-profile vaccine critic who’s a scion of arguably the nation’s most famous family political dynasty.

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