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Lt. governor apologizes for an abortion he paid for back in 1989

Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson and his wife, Yolanda
Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson and his wife, Yolanda

Updated Friday, March 25 at 11:50 a.m.

Republican Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson is apologizing for an elective abortion his wife had 33 years ago.

The staunchly conservative Robinson has long been an opponent of a woman’s fundamental right to an abortion. An old comment on a Facebook post was unearthed recently in which Robinson acknowledged his wife had an abortion in the late 1980s.

On Thursday, he offered an apology via video on social media.

"It was the hardest decision we ever made. Sadly it was the wrong one. This decision has been with us ever since. It’s because of this experience and our spiritual journey that we are so pro-life," Robinson said.

In the post from August 2012, Robinson wrote on his personal Facebook page that abortion is "wrong when others do it and it was wrong when I paid for it to be done to my unborn child in 1989."


Robinson was a political newcomer who won election in 2020. He vaulted to prominence following a gun-rights speech in Greensboro that went viral. He has made anti-Semitic, homophobic comments, denied climate change and consistently been a lightning rod for controversy. Still, Robinson has proven to be a strong fundraiser and is seen as a leading Republican gubernatorial candidate in 2024.

The state Democratic party released a statement Wednesday implying hypocrisy among the state Republican Party which has been relatively silent about this latest Robinson controversy.

"The Republican Party, whose platform includes anti-choice policies that would limit abortion access, is now calling the issue a “personal matter” that they won’t weigh in on," the release stated.

Rachel Stein, spokesperson for the Democratic Party, went on to say that even Mark Robinson needs access to abortion.

“People from all walks of life – and political parties – have experiences with abortion. The North Carolina Republican Party ought to offer the same respect and privacy to every pregnant person’s health care decisions that they are giving to the Lieutenant Governor,” Stein said.

Some individual Republicans did comment, praising Robinson for speaking out about a difficult experience.

"How can leaders proclaim repentance to this chaotic world? This is how,” U.S. Rep. Dan Bishop of Charlotte wrote in a tweet Thursday. “A public confession many years before emerging into public life. Unblinking acknowledgment now. How refreshing.”

Former U.S. Rep. Mark Walker, a Republican who is running for a North Carolina U.S. Senate seat also commented.

"Your humility empowers people who’ve experienced brokenness, you’ve showed us that all life is precious," Walker wrote on Twitter.

Contributors to this report: the Associated Press and WUNC's Naomi Prioleau, Joe Jurney and Laura Pellicer

Jeff Tiberii covers politics for WUNC. Before that, he served as the station's Greensboro Bureau Chief.
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