'It was wrong': North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson says he paid for abortion in 1989
In a Facebook comment from August 2012, North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson decried people who "praise God with their mouths" and then vote for politicians who support abortion, adding: Abortion is "wrong when others do it and it was wrong when I paid for it to be done to my unborn child in 1989."Posted — Updated
“It’s something that I’ve wanted to talk about for years, but there’s confidentiality that I have to be concerned about," he told WRAL in a brief interview Wednesday afternoon. Robinson said he planned to release a more extensive statement about the matter.
News of Robinson's 2012 comments evoked strong responses from social media users Wednesday. Some of Robinson's supporters said he has adequately addressed the event and reformed his values. Critics, meanwhile, argued that Robinson is a hypocrite for vilifying people who want access to the same type of procedure Robinson said he paid for.
“Once you make a baby, it’s not your body anymore—it’s y’all’s body. And, yes, that includes the daddy,” he said.
Some anti-abortion activists draw on their personal experiences when speaking about the issue. Apart from the 2012 Facebook comments, WRAL hasn't found any news reports about Robinson discussing a personal connection to someone who had the procedure. The 2012 Facebook comments emerged on Twitter Tuesday and were amplified by Carolina Forward, a liberal advocacy group.
About a month after Robinson's Facebook comment in August 2012, his account mentioned abortion again in responding to a critic.
NC GOP spokesman Jeff Moore said the party wouldn't comment because it was "a personal matter."
Democrats used the news to push their position. "Everyone needs access to abortion, even Mark Robinson,” said Rachel Stein, a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Democratic Party. “People from all walks of life—and political parties—have experiences with abortion."
"We cannot say that 'Black lives matter,' or 'all lives matter,' or 'blue lives matter' until we say 'unborn lives matter,' because that's where we all start," Robinson said at the January 2021 rally.
Robinson includes several details of his personal life under the “pro-life” section of his campaign website. For instance, the webpage mentions that Robinson grew up with "an abusive alcoholic father."
“The radical left believes stories like [Robinson’s] should not exist because low income families should abort their babies rather than giving them the opportunity to grow up in suboptimal conditions. As a Christian, Mark will honor the sanctity of life,” the website says.
But it doesn't mention that Robinson has any personal experience with abortion.
"There are many organizations in the state ... that if they decide to make this an issue, that could create problems for him," McLennan said. "Because he does get a lot of his funding from conservative and socially conservative leaning organizations and people."
On the other hand, by electing former Democrat Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, Republican voters have shown they're willing to forgive candidates for their controversial pasts.
"Hypocrisy used to be a disqualifying event, and it's no longer disqualifying," McLennan said, adding that Robinson could use this story to reinforce his credibility on the issue. "Within the faith community and the conservative faith community, that idea of redemption is such a strong message."
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