Death Penalty For Abortions Would Be Good Deterrent For Women, Says Republican Candidate

Women who end pregnancies should potentially face the death penalty, according to a Republican candidate for lieutenant governor in Idaho.

Three-term state senator Bob Nonini suggested there should be some penalty for those who had abortions if the procedure became criminalized in the state, nodding his head when asked if he would support the death penalty as a punishment, the Associated Press reported.

At a Monday night forum for candidates in Moscow, Idaho, the other Republican hopefuls—Janice McGeachin and Steve Yates—also backed Nonini's assertion that abortion equates to murder although they would not support a murder charge for women who underwent the procedure.

Indeed, Nonini was the only candidate who appeared to back execution as a punishment for abortion, with Yates and McGeachin stopping short of backing this measure.

But shortly after appearing to back drastic measures to penalize women for seeking abortions, Nonini walked back on his previous comments suggesting he was merely attempting to explain that the threat of punishment would be a deterrent for women.

"Prosecutions have always been focused on the abortionist," Nonini said in a statement seen by the Idaho Statesman. "There is no way a woman would go to jail let alone face the death penalty. The statute alone, the threat of prosecution, would dramatically reduce abortion. That is my goal."

The GOP candidate said he backed overturning the landmark Roe v. Wade decision on abortion and wanted to see Idaho to re-criminalize the procedure "as a deterrent," although he suggested in a U-turn on his earlier comments that this would not result in prosecutions for women.

"It is my understanding that in the history of the United States, long before Roe was foisted upon this country; no woman has ever been prosecuted for undergoing abortion. That is for practical reasons, as well as for reasons of compassion," he added.