The Colorado Springs Independent has a video of Republican Senate candidate Darryl Glenn saying that pregnancy is a “gift from God” in all circumstances at a Jefferson County event back in 2015.
This is a recurring problem for Republican candidates. Back in 2012, two Republican Senate hopefuls lost to their Democratic opponents in part because of comments they made about rape and abortion. Indiana State Treasurer Richard Mourdock used the same “gift from God” language.
Here are Glenn’s full comments:
“If you want an abortion, don’t ask me to pay for it. That’s not something I’m gonna agree with. That’s a gift from God. There are no exceptions with that. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to pray for you. … That’s a life, regardless of how it got there, and I’m going to pray for you.”
Glenn describes himself as pro-life, but pinning down exactly what he thinks the law should be has been tricky.
Back in July, he gave this answer on Colorado Public Television when asked about the idea of personhood:
“As a person who has two adult daughters, I put myself in that situation. And I want to make sure that when we’re talking about health care, you want to make sure that women have the ability and access to health care, so that they understand all the different options that are out there. And at some point in time, maybe they might have to make that decision. But that is a personal decision that they have to make between them and … God.”
A personal decision? That sounds almost like the pro-choice position, though Glenn was quick to deny that term.
The Durango Herald reported that anti-abortion groups got nervous before eventually extending their endorsements to Glenn.
“I’m willing to say on behalf of our organization that his comments were not nearly as strong as we would hope,” said Susan Sutherland, vice president of Colorado Right to Life. “He was just trying to play a little bit of political maneuvering there.”
Glenn has said Planned Parenthood should be investigated and possibly defunded, but the “On the Issues” page on his website doesn’t even mention abortion.
Glenn has repeatedly avoided questions from the Denver Post on his abortion stance. That was before he stopped talking to the newspaper altogether.
In an interview with Westword, Glenn deflected the question back to his opponent, Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet, claiming that Bennet would allow abortion up to the moment of birth, which is not actually legal.
Here’s the full exchange:
Westword: What is your position on abortion? I understand that you don’t believe in exceptions in cases of rape, incest and when the life of the mother is at risk. Is that correct?
Glenn: Here’s the issue. I know people love to talk about extremes, but we’re not going to play the game, for a lack of a better way of saying that. Nobody ever talks about Michael Bennet’s position on this and what the actual law is in Colorado. They don’t talk about the fact that Michael Bennet’s position is that you can actually have an abortion up to the time of delivery. They always like to point and paint conservatives as being extremists — especially me. I’m pro-life. I believe in life at conception. But they never talk about the other aspect where you can literally go to a delivery room and if a doctor says, “You’re not ready,” and then you can go home, but then change your mind and have an abortion.
Westwood: Are there any examples of that taking place in recent history?
Glenn: It’s the law that allows that to happen. And what I’m saying is, unfortunately, media publications don’t address that issue. That’s the law in Colorado that allows you to do that. So when we’re ready to talk about both extremes, if you want to call those extremes, then that’s when we’re really able to have a substantive argument. But until we’re willing to do that, until Michael Bennet is willing to talk about that aspect of it, I’m not going to entertain any more questions on that issue.
As Westword notes, Colorado is one of a few states that allows late-term abortion but not up until the moment of delivery. Women here can obtain an elective abortion up to 26 weeks and an abortion for a serious medical problem or fetal anomalies up to 34 weeks. Women travel from other states to Colorado for abortions when they get very bad news about their pregnancies.
I ran out of time to ask Glenn my own abortion questions when I spoke with him, partly because after all this, I doubted he would be straight with me either. I decided to prioritize other issues. Also, at this point, we pretty much expect Democrats to be pro-choice and Republicans to be anti-abortion.
That said, voters on all sides would be better served by a clear answer. There’s a difference between thinking something is wrong and thinking something should be illegal.
Glenn has not responded to the Indy. I also reached out for comment. If I hear back, I’ll update this post.
Update: Glenn told Colorado Public Radio in his response to their candidate questionnaire that he supports exceptions in the case of rape, incest and danger to the life of the mother. This appears to conflict with what he told Colorado Right to Life, which does not generally endorse candidates who support exceptions.
Bennet has the endorsement of Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice America. In addition to supporting abortion rights, he has also advocated for contraception to be treated as preventative care.
The most recent poll from Monmouth University shows Bennet ahead 18 points, getting 53 percent to Glenn’s 35 percent.
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