A Republican – with no prior law enforcement experience – running for county sheriff in New Hampshire is facing calls to leave the race after he suggested it is acceptable to use deadly force to stop a doctor from performing an abortion.
While he has now recanted his comments, saying they are “unacceptable,” he has made no indication that he will drop out.
In a local television interview, Hillsborough County sheriff candidate Frank Szabo said that he values the life of an unborn fetus so much that, when it came to elective and late-term abortions, he’d be willing to kill for it:
But Szabo may have inflamed the issue further when asked if he would use deadly force to prevent an abortion.
“I would respond specifically by saying that if someone is under threat, a full-grown human being, if they’re under threat, what should the sheriff do? Everything in their power to prevent them from being harmed,” he said.
When pressed about what he would do if he learned that a doctor was about to perform an elective abortion, Szabo replied he would do what it took to prevent that from happening.
“Absolutely,” he said. “Well, 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.”
Among those calling on Szabo to step down is New Hampshire’s Republican House Speaker Bill O’Brien. In a release, O’Brien wrote, “It is our hope that Mr. Szabo will withdraw from this race and think long and hard about grounding himself in constitutional law and principles before considering political office in the future.”