RFK Jr. unveils new abortion platform: 'More choices, more life'

Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks onstage at Food & Bounty at Sunset Gower Studios on January 13, 2019, in Hollywood, California.
Robert F. Kennedy Jr. speaks onstage at Food & Bounty at Sunset Gower Studios on January 13, 2019, in Hollywood, California. | Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

The leading third-party candidate for president of the United States has revealed a new position on abortion that includes a proposal to expand childcare benefits, prompting mixed reactions from pro-life groups. 

Robert F. Kennedy Jr., who is pursuing an independent bid for the presidency in the 2024 presidential election, released an updated abortion platform on his website last week. The platform, titled “More Choices, More Life,” is plugged as a way to “dramatically reduce abortion in this country.”

The candidate is calling for a “massive subsidized daycare initiative” while vowing to “safeguard women’s reproductive rights.” He vows that the policy will “pay 100% of care for the three million children under five who live beneath our poverty line” while capping the cost of daycare at “10% of family income for everyone else.” 

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“These payments will not be available to corporate daycare chains or the hedge funds that own them,” the campaign clarified. “They will fund only single-location small businesses — as well as parents who decide to stay home with their children.”

The campaign predicted that “since economics is a major driver of abortion, this policy will do more to lower abortion rates than any coercive measure ever could.” The policy proposal identifies the redirection of “funds being spent on the war in Ukraine” to pay for the massive undertaking. 

In addition to the daycare initiative, the “More Choices, More Life” agenda calls for a strengthened “adoption infrastructure” consisting of an increased child tax credit and funding “sanctuaries for women in need to have babies, places like Angie’s House where they get support not just in pregnancy and birth but also in those precious months afterwards.” 

The campaign asserted that the funding of such organizations would ensure women that “their only ‘choice’ isn’t abortion.”

Under the policy, the campaign contended, women will find that “they have another choice, a viable choice to give birth.”

The campaign added, “Abortion is one of the most divisive issues in American politics” where Americans “are offered two positions — pro-life and pro-choice — with hardly any room between or outside them.” Democrats, led by President Joe Biden, have embraced the “pro-choice” position that enables women to have abortions throughout most or all of pregnancy. 

While pro-life groups opposed to abortion have generally gotten behind former President Donald Trump in the upcoming 2024 presidential election, some pro-life advocacy groups have expressed concerns over Trump’s position that abortion should be up to the states to decide. Pro-life organizations offered differing reactions to the Kennedy campaign’s newly unveiled abortion policy. 

Brian Burch, president of the pro-life advocacy group CatholicVote, reacted to the candidate’s policy proposal in a statement published Tuesday. “RFK Jr.’s abortion policy offers a stark contrast to the ‘shout your abortion’ extremism coming from the Biden campaign,” he said. “While RFK Jr. is wrong for pledging to continue to protect the ‘right’ to destroy innocent lives, he deserves credit for not ducking the need to help women choose life.”

“[Kennedy] also deserves credit for recognizing the unique role of stay at home parents by proposing that any daycare subsidies equally apply to mothers or fathers who choose to stay home to raise their children,” he added. “Kennedy’s position, while problematic in principle, aims in the right direction.” 

Emily Erin Davis, vice president of communications for the pro-life group Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, offered similar analysis in a statement shared with The Christian Post: “Robert F. Kennedy Jr., though not a pro-life candidate, at least acknowledges the truth that Joe Biden and the Democrats sweep under the rug.” 

While praising Kennedy for suggesting that “the majority of women who’ve had abortions would rather have kept their child if they’d had adequate emotional or financial support,” Davis stressed that “We still have major differences with Kennedy on the human rights of the unborn.” She specifically expressed concern that “He is not listing a single limit or boundary he would place on abortion.”

In a statement shared with The Christian Post, National Right to Life President Carol Tobias stressed that “Robert F. Kennedy Jr. supports unlimited abortion throughout pregnancy and he wants taxpayer dollars to pay for it. He does not believe states should be able to protect preborn children at any stage of development and supports tax funding of Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion chain.”

“It is hypocritical, then, to pretend to care about helping women in difficult circumstances when those same women are being encouraged by a culture that tells them to kill their children,” Tobias contended. “Far better are the candidates who care about, and are willing to help, both mother and child.”

At the beginning of the Kennedy campaign, its official website didn't contain an entire section devoted to abortion. Instead, the candidate’s position on abortion was included on a page illustrating his vow to “Heal the Divide.” The campaign stated that “Robert F. Kennedy Jr. has clear positions on most of today’s divisive trigger issues like abortion, guns, and immigration, but he knows that both sides have legitimate concerns and legitimate moral positions.”

“Few relish the thought of dead fetuses, nor do they want to force women to have unwanted babies,” the website declared. “Robert F. Kennedy will draw on the broad moral agreements beneath our divisions. He will model careful listening, and create conditions where each group can hear the stories of the other. He will lead the way toward national reconciliation, respectful dialog, and willingness to change, to grow, and to forgive.”

The RealClearPolitics average of polls asking voters who they would support in a five-way race, based on surveys taken from March 27-April 18, shows Kennedy capturing 8.8% of the vote, coming in far behind Trump’s 41.6% and Biden’s 40.6%, while finishing ahead of independent candidate Cornel West’s 1.7% and potential Green Party nominee Jill Stein’s 1.0%. 

However, Kennedy’s presence on the ballot in each of the 50 states, or lack thereof, will define the impact or success of his candidacy. As of Tuesday, the Kennedy campaign has secured ballot access in nine states that boast a combined 66 electoral votes, coming up short of the 270 electoral votes required to win the presidency: Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina and Utah.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be reached at:

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