NC Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson says he and his wife made mistake not to go through with pregnancy before marriage

The state's top Republican executive officeholder has campaigned aggressively against abortion.

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Bryan Anderson
, WRAL state government reporter
RALEIGH, N.C. — North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson says he and his wife made the wrong decision when they decided to get an abortion more than 30 years ago.
In a video posted to his social media pages Thursday, the state’s top Republican executive officeholder—who has long opposed abortion—confirmed the accuracy of a Facebook comment he made in 2012 in which he said he paid for an abortion for his “unborn child.”

Sitting alongside his wife, Yolanda, who didn’t speak during the brief video, the lieutenant governor said the procedure came before the couple got married.

"It was the hardest decision we have ever made, and, sadly, we made the wrong one,” the lieutenant governor said. “This decision has been with us ever since. It's because of this experience and our spiritual journey that we are so adamantly pro-life.”

The Robinsons got married in 1990 and now have one daughter and one son. The lieutenant governor's office confirmed the abortion occurred in 1989, which Robinson wrote in his old social media comments.

North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson, a hard-line conservative who has long spoken out against abortion, said in an Aug. 9, 2012 Facebook comment that he paid for the mother of his "unborn child" to have an abortion in 1989

In his Thursday video message, Robinson said he hoped his story would encourage others to go through with a pregnancy if they find themselves in a similar position to the one he and his wife were in before they got married.

"For everyone that has had this experience and carries that burden, we want you to know you are not alone,” Robinson said. “Furthermore, we have a savior who forgives us for our sins and offers us grace. No one is perfect, but no one is too far gone to be saved. We felt the need to speak with you directly because this issue transcends politics. Our hope is that by telling our story that it may change the lives of others."

Robinson has made abortion a central part of his political career. "We allow the murder of the most innocent human beings on earth and we do it with impunity," he said during a January 2021 rally.

He includes several details of his personal life under the “pro-life” section of his campaign website. But it doesn’t mention the abortion. Before Wednesday, WRAL also hadn't found any news reports about Robinson discussing his personal connection to someone who got an abortion.

“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 campaign website says.

Robinson’s 2012 Facebook comment surfaced on Twitter on Tuesday after an account posted a screenshot of what Robinson wrote. The comment remained on Robinson’s Facebook page early Thursday. WRAL first reported on the comments Wednesday.

In a brief interview with WRAL on Wednesday, Robinson said he had wanted to talk about the matter for years but that “there’s confidentiality that I have to be concerned about.”

Robinson, who has said he’s 95% confident he’d run for governor in 2024, gained a large following within conservative circles after delivering a fiery speech about gun rights during a 2018 Greensboro City meeting.
A political newcomer at the time, Robinson handily defeated a crowded field of eight Republican primary opponents in 2020 and went on to win the general election. He has become known for controversial comments about K-12 education and the LGBTQ community.
At the North Carolina GOP convention in June, Robinson urged fathers to be involved in their child's life.

“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 at the time.

At the January 2021 rally, Robinson said, “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.”

The NC GOP declined to comment on Robinson’s abortion since it considers the subject “a personal matter."

Republican U.S. Rep. Dan Bishop on Thursday took to Twitter to share his support for Robinson.

"A public confession many years before emerging into public life. Unblinking acknowledgement now. How refreshing. I’m so grateful for this couple," Bishop wrote.

One prominent organization in the state that works to elect religious conservatives thanked Robinson for sharing his story. Jason Williams, executive director of the North Carolina Faith and Freedom Coalition, said in a statement that he appreciates Robinson's openness to discussing a "difficult abortion decision."

"Some of North Carolina’s most effective and outspoken pro-life advocates are those who fully understand the emotional, physical and spiritual impacts of abortion because they have personally received or supported an abortion," Williams said. "Through prayer, healing and forgiveness, many former abortion clinic workers, OBGYN doctors, mothers and fathers have transformed their abortion regret into a mission to diligently advocate for the unborn."

Democratic party leaders, meanwhile, said Robinson's experience demonstrates the need for families to have continued access to the medical procedure.

“Everyone needs access to abortion, even Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson,” Democratic state Sen. Jay Chaudhuri wrote in a Wednesday Facebook post.

Rachel Stein, a spokeswoman for the North Carolina Democratic Party, said in a statement that the state Republican Party “ought to offer the same respect and privacy to every pregnant person’s health care decisions that they are giving to [Robinson].”