Robert F. Kennedy Jr., while campaigning in Iowa, drew significant attention when he seemed to voice support for a federal ban on abortions beyond the initial three months of pregnancy.

Kennedy was at the Iowa State Fair Sunday campaigning for the Democratic Party’s 2024 presidential nomination.

The Democratic candidate said Sunday morning at the fair that he believed women should be the decision makers concerning aborting a child during its first trimester, according to an NBC News report.

Reporters pressed him, asking if that meant he would support a federal abortion ban after the first trimester, and he said “yes,” the report added.

“Once a child is viable outside the womb, I think then the state has an interest in protecting the child,” Kennedy said, according to a Fox News report. “I’m for medical freedom. Individuals are able to make their own choices.”

Hours later, Kennedy retracted his earlier remarks, claiming he misunderstood the reporters’ questions.

“Mr. Kennedy misunderstood a question posed to him by an NBC reporter in a crowded, noisy exhibit hall at the Iowa State Fair,” a Kennedy spokesperson said.

The spokesperson clarified Kennedy’s position that abortion is “always” the woman’s right to choose, adding the candidate “does not support legislation banning abortion.”

The original remarks by Kennedy, the controversial long-shot challenger to incumbent President Joe Biden, put him at odds with the majority of his party at a time when abortion access is a hot button issue for Democrats.


A leading conservative anti-abortion group, Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, praised Kennedy’s remarks in a statement.

“Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s stated position is a stark contrast to the Democratic Party’s radical stance of abortion on demand, with no protection for babies in the womb or their mothers,” stated the group’s X account.

The group claimed in subsequent posts that seven of 10 Americans support limiting abortion to, at most, the first three months of pregnancy.

“A solid majority agrees Congress should act to protect babies when science shows they feel pain at 15 weeks.”

The Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade has reignited debates over abortion, with Kennedy’s initial comments diverging from most Democrats.

Kennedy will likely face continued questioning by Democratic Party voters about the issue as the presidential campaign begins to heat up.

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