Robert F. Kennedy Jr. walks back support for 'full-term' abortion

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

Independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. is seeking to clarify his position on abortion after he appeared to express support for allowing abortion at “full-term.” 

Kennedy made the remarks about abortion during an appearance on “The Sage Steele Show” published last week. When asked by host Sage Steele if he supported abortions at “full term,” Kennedy responded that women should have the right to terminate their pregnancy “even if it’s full term.” 

In a post on X Friday night, Kennedy suggested that he had changed his position on abortion because he was “willing to listen” to his “family, supporters, and others who shared their perspectives.” He noted that he saw “an emerging consensus” that “abortion should be legal up until a certain number of weeks, and restricted thereafter,” later illustrating his support for keeping abortion legal up until the point “when the baby is viable outside the womb.” 

Get Our Latest News for FREE

Subscribe to get daily/weekly email with the top stories (plus special offers!) from The Christian Post. Be the first to know.

“Even in the reddest of red states, voters reject total abortion bans,” he added. “And on the other end, almost no one supports gruesome third-trimester abortions except to save the life of the mother.” 

Kennedy described himself as a “medical freedom advocate” who has “fought for bodily autonomy” and trusts “women’s instincts,” identifying situations where “the baby has some fatal condition that ensures it will survive just hours or days after birth in intense suffering” as the reason why he was “leery of inserting the government into abortion.”

Insisting that “I had been assuming that virtually all late-term abortions were such cases,” he acknowledged that “my assumption was wrong.”

“Sometimes, women abort healthy, viable late-term fetuses,” he explained. “These cases of purely ‘elective’ late-term abortion are very upsetting. Once the baby is viable outside the womb, it should have rights and it deserves society’s protection.” 

Kennedy vowed to “allow appropriate restrictions on abortion in the final months of pregnancy, just as Roe v. Wade did.” The candidate’s remarks reflect the fact that the U.S. Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision that legalized abortion nationwide permitted states to restrict abortions in the latter part of a pregnancy.

The U.S. Supreme Court reversed Roe in 2022 by issuing the Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization decision, which determined that the U.S. Constitution does not contain a right to abortion. Since the Dobbs decision, several states have taken action to restrict or prohibit abortion.

One state has a 15-week abortion ban in effect, while two states prohibit abortion after 12 weeks gestation, three states have heartbeat bans prohibiting abortion after six weeks gestation, and 14 states have near-total abortion bans in effect. Pro-life protections in three additional states are tied up in litigation.

Meanwhile, voters in California, Michigan and Vermont approved ballot measures establishing constitutional rights to abortion in 2022, while Ohio voters supported an equivalent constitutional amendment in 2023

Kennedy’s X post concluded by pitching his policy called “More Choices, More Life,” which he predicts will “reduce abortion across the board by supporting motherhood, supporting parents, and supporting families.” He signaled his intention to “unveil our plan for universally affordable child care, which will cap child care expenses at 10% for most families.” 

Kennedy maintained that his presidency would seek to “support women in need so that abortion isn’t their only choice,” noting that “almost three-quarters of women cite economic reasons to explain why they chose to abort a pregnancy.” 

Kennedy’s Friday night X post is not the first time the candidate or his campaign has sought to clarify his position on abortion.

Last summer, he told a reporter that he thought “the decision to abort a child should be up to the woman during the first three months of pregnancy.” He shared his belief that “once a child is viable outside the womb, I think that a state has an interest in protecting that child.” 

The campaign later published a statement declaring that “Kennedy’s position on abortion is that it is always the woman’s right to choose,” adding, “He does not support legislation banning abortion.” 

The RealClearPolitics average of polls measuring voter intentions in a five-way race between former President Donald Trump, President Joe Biden, Kennedy, progressive independent candidate Cornel West and likely Green Party nominee Jill Stein shows Kennedy capturing 10.8% of the vote. The polls are based on surveys taken between April 12 and May 7. While Kennedy finds himself significantly behind Trump’s 41.5% and Biden’s 38.8%, he finishes ahead of West (2.0%) and Stein (1.5%). 

According to the candidate’s website, Kennedy has secured ballot access in 14 states that boast a combined 187 electoral votes: California, Delaware, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Michigan, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Texas and Utah. While the number of electoral votes in the states where Kennedy has ballot access remains short of the 270 required to win the presidency, he hopes to secure ballot access in all 50 states by Election Day. 

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

Was this article helpful?

Help keep The Christian Post free for everyone.

By making a recurring donation or a one-time donation of any amount, you're helping to keep CP's articles free and accessible for everyone.

We’re sorry to hear that.

Hope you’ll give us another try and check out some other articles. Return to homepage.