A Republican candidate for sheriff in New Hampshire apologized Thursday after telling a reporter he would use deadly force to prevent abortions.
Speaking to The Associated Press on Thursday night, businessman Frank Szabo admitted that his strong anti-abortion views sometimes “get the better of me,” and promised not to murder any doctors if he’s elected sheriff.
“With government’s increasing encroachment on citizens’ natural rights, particularly their right to own and control their own property, the abortion doctor example was really a poor choice to prove a point about the sheriff’s potential role as a constitutional officer,” he reportedly said.
Szabo, who’s running for sheriff in Hillsborough County, sparked a tidal wave of alarmed headlines with his comments amid a national furor over the Republican Party’s refusal to acknowledge the right of women to obtain an abortion in cases of rape or incest. He previously vowed to arrest any individual involved in performing an abortion, but acknowledged to a local reporter that he’d even be willing to use deadly force.
“I would hope that it wouldn’t come to that, as with any situation where someone is in danger, but again, specifically talking about elective abortions and late-term abortions, that is an act that needs to be stopped,” he said.
In prepared remarks published Thursday, New Hampshire House Speaker Bill O’Brien (R) joined the state’s Republican Party in condemning Szabo’s remarks and calling for him to exit the race. “[No] elected official is given the latitude to take the law into his or her own hands and decide he or she knows better than the Legislature and governor what should be enforceable laws,” he said.