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News Third-Party Spoiler Candidates RFK Jr. Friday, May 17 2024

A Timeline of RFK Jr. Hiding His Desire to Sign An Extreme Abortion Ban

May 17, 2024

Last night, CNN reported that RFK Jr. was changing his position on abortion once again, telling the media outlet he supports banning abortions at “fetal viability.” Additionally, in his statement to CNN, RFK Jr. threw his running mate Nichole Shanahan under the bus, saying her claims that the campaign supports an abortion ban between 15 and 18 weeks did not reflect his views.

It’s just RFK Jr.’s latest flip-flop on one of the most consequential issues motivating voters across the country heading into November.

“RFK Jr. made headlines last year when he took the same extreme position on banning abortions nationwide as Mike Pence and immediately attempted to reverse his position. Months later, not much has changed. He clearly supports an extreme abortion ban and is going to great lengths to hide his true position,” said American Bridge 21st Century Presidential Campaigns Communications Director Brandon Weathersby. “RFK Jr. chose an anti-IVF running mate, routinely dismisses the issue of abortion as a critical issue, and spreads lies about so-called “late-term” abortions. His flip-flops are by design to confuse the press, and voters, and sneak his way to Election Day without real scrutiny of his anti-reproductive health stance.”

View the timeline of RFK Jr. hiding his anti-reproductive health stance and support for abortion bans: 

August 2023: In an interview with NBC, RFK Jr. says he supports a national abortion ban at 15 weeks and that he believes states have a right to protect the child.

November 2023: RFK Jr. said he did not have Ideas for what President Biden should do to support abortion rights after Roe V. Wade was struck down.

December 2023: RFK Jr.’s campaign hires the far-right anti-abortion activist Angela Stanton-King as a campaign consultant.

March 2024: RFK Jr. announces his vice presidential pick, Nichole Shanahan, who believes IVF is “one of the biggest lies being told about women’s health.”

April 2024:  RFK Jr.’s campaign tells the Washington Post that concerning abortion, he “does not want to add fuel to the fire” with an issue that is “fundamentally divisive.”

May 1, 2024:  RFK Jr. tells Sage Steele that he thinks there is a very good argument for protecting a fully formed fetus, but also that women should decide on when to terminate a pregnancy.

May 8, 2024: Nichole Shanahan tells Sage Steele she was completely unaware of RFK Jr.’s position on abortion.

May 9, 2024: The campaign’s director of Black outreach, Angela Stanton-King, tweets her confusion about RFK Jr.’s statements.

May 9, 2024: RFK Jr.’s campaign tells CBS News in a statement that he believed “the mother has the final say.”

May 10, 2024: Stanton-King posts a video saying “after a bunch of going back and forth, and not only by me, but also people on the campaign,” RFK Jr. would be reversing his position on the issue again.

May 10, 2024: RFK Jr. posts on social media that “abortion should be legal up until a certain number of weeks, and restricted thereafter.”

May 14, 2024: Shanahan says the campaign supports an abortion ban that “moves around between 15 and 18 weeks.”

May 16, 2024: RFK Jr. says he supports restricting abortion access at “fetal viability” and that comments from running mate Nicole Shanahan — about the campaign supporting federal limits “between 15 and 18 weeks” of gestation — do not reflect his views.

Published: May 17, 2024 | Last Modified: May 22, 2024

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