Election 2024

GOP governor candidate says abortion is only for women who won’t “keep your skirt down”

North Carolina Lieutenant Governor Mark Robinson speaks during a rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump on March 2, 2024.
North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson in March 2024 Photo: Megan Smith / USA TODAY NETWORK via IMAGN

North Carolina’s anti-LGBTQ+ Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson (R) – who is currently running for governor – once said that women who get abortions are “killing” children because they “weren’t responsible enough to keep your skirt down.” His words are now being used in a new political ad by state Attorney General Josh Stein (D) in a high-stakes governor’s race whose outcome could be decided by pro-choice voters.

In Stein’s ad, entitled “Silence,” Robinson says that he supports legislation forbidding people from having an abortion for any reason.

“For me there is no compromise on abortion,” Robinson says. “It makes no difference why or how a child ended up in that womb.”

He adds, “Abortion in this country is not about protecting the lives of mothers. It is about killing the child because you weren’t responsible enough to keep your skirt down.”

“It’s not your body anymore,” Robinson says at the end of the ad. Robinson has previously said that school shootings are God’s punishment for abortions. He paid for his then-girlfriend to get an abortion in 1989. He has since called that abortion “a mistake.”

Stein’s campaign manager, Jeff Allen, said that Robinson has focused on “stripping women of their reproductive freedoms,” adding, “Over the next five months, we are prepared to make sure every North Carolinian knows the stakes of this race — and we’re just getting started.”

The communications director for Robinson’s campaign, Mike Lonergan, said that Robinson supports a “heartbeat bill” allowing abortions until the sixth week of pregnancy, a time before most people even realize that they’re pregnant.

Robinson also supports abortion “exceptions for rape, incest and when the life of the mother is in danger,” Lonergan said.

Abortions in the state are currently legal for the first 12 weeks of pregnancy and up to 20 weeks in the case of rape or incest.

Republicans worry that Republican support for restrictions on abortion access could bring more pro-choice Democratic voters to the polls in the 2024 general elections. Since the overturning of Roe v. Wade, voters in seven states have supported ballot measures strengthening abortion access, even in conservative states like Kansas, Kentucky, and Ohio. Similar measures will be on the November ballots in Colorado, Florida, Maryland, and South Dakota, all of which could help bring out Democratic voters to oppose former President Donald Trump and other Republican candidates.

Robinson is also infamous for his anti-LGBTQ+ comments

Among Robinson’s many anti-LGBTQ+ statements, he has called homosexuality “an abominable sin,” referred to lesbian celebrity Ellen DeGeneres as a “top ranking demon… proudly serving in Satan’s army,” and has called former First Lady Michelle Obama “a man,” repeating a transphobic misogynoir conspiracy theory. He has also called the trans equality movement “demonic” and “full of the spirit of Antichrist.”

In March 2023, Robinson declared that God created him to battle against LGBTQ+ rights and added, “Makes me sick every time I see it — a church that flies that Rainbow flag, which is a direct spit in the face of God almighty.” In 2021, Robinson compared LGBTQ+ people to cow dung.

In 2021, Robinson created an education task force to investigate and pull LGBTQ+ literature from public schools, as well as report instances of LGBTQ+ inclusion in schools. In an October 24, 2019 Facebook post against gender-affirming care for minors, Robinson wrote that trans children are being “mentally raped” by their parents and other supportive adults. In 2017, he wrote on Facebook, “You CAN NOT love God and support the homosexual agenda.”

Robinson has said that trans people should defecate on public street corners outside rather than using bathrooms matching their gender identity. He also wrote on social media, later adding, “Note to liberals; I’ll accept ‘Gay Pride’ when you accept ‘White Pride.’”

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