A newly unearthed 2019 interview with Trump-backed Pennsylvania gubernatorial candidate Doug Mastriano reveals that he advocated charging women with murder if they get abortions.
NBC News reports that Mastriano told Pennsylvania radio station WTIF three years ago that he believed women who get abortions should face the same kinds of penalties that people get when they murder someone.
Mastriano was being asked about legislation he proposed that would bar abortions after a fetal heartbeat is first detected, which usually comes roughly six weeks into pregnancy.
"OK, let’s go back to the basic question there: Is that a human being?" Mastriano said of the fetus. "Is that a little boy or girl? If it is, it deserves equal protection under the law."
He was then pressed if he was specifically calling for women who get abortions to be charged with murder.
"Yes, I am," he replied.
In recent interviews, Mastriano has tried to downplay abortion as a central issue in his gubernatorial campaign, and has instead said it would be a matter for state legislatures to handle.
"My views are kind of irrelevant because I cannot rule by fiat or edict or executive order on the issue of life," Mastriano told right-wing network Real America's Voice.