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Rep. Ron Wright (R-Texas) stated on video that he believes people who have abortions should be punished—and now he’s trying to walk it back.
In the video, released by reproductive rights group Reproaction, Wright says he is opposed to an abortion “at any time.” The person behind the camera then asks him if he has thoughts on the woman who was sentenced to 20 years in prison for self-induced abortion.
“Was she really?” says Wright. “Well, I really can’t speak to that since I don’t know any details about it.” The person behind the camera then informs him that there are 21 cases in the U.S. of people being punished for getting abortions, and asks if that concerns him. “Of course, they just killed a baby,” he responded.
“So it doesn’t concern you that the person is being sent to prison?” the cameraperson pressed further. “As far as I’m concerned they committed murder,” he replied. When pushed further to ask if he believes people should be punished for abortion, he replied “absolutely” before a staff member ended the conversation and directed Wright away from the camera.
The video additionally highlighted that Wright had compared Planned Parenthood to Hitler, while apparently also confusing Hitler and Mussolini. “Hitler made the trains run on time,” said Wright in a speech before the House of Representatives. “The good that’s being done doesn’t compensate for the evil that’s being done by Planned Parenthood.”
Wright is one of many Republican politicians who have recently taken extremist stances on abortion, despite the fact that the majority of Texans support Roe v. Wade. A bill was introduced to the Texas state legislature earlier this year that would have punished people who got abortions, even in cases of rape, with the death penalty.
Despite what he said in the video, Wright is now claiming that only “those who perform the abortions should be held responsible,” per a statement to the Dallas Morning News.
H/T Splinter News
Alex Dalbey is a writer and zinester currently living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. They have written for The Daily Dot, Kill Screen, The Lingerie Addict, and Bullet Points.