Idaho GOP candidate calls for executing women who end pregnancies


State Sen. Bob Nonini believes that 'anyone who has an abortion should pay.'

At a Republican candidate forum for Idaho lieutenant governor, state Sen. Bob Nonini stated that he believed women who seek abortions should be put to death on a "case by case" basis.

The forum was hosted by the Christian podcast CrossPolitic, who posed the question of whether women should face capital punishment for abortion. Nonini responded, "Yes. There should be no abortion and anyone who has an abortion should pay."

Astonishingly, the hosts and another Republican candidate at the forum, former Idaho GOP chairman Steve Yates, did not seem bothered by Nonini's answer.

Nonini tried to half soften his statement a few hours later, saying "no woman has ever been prosecuted" for abortion for "practical reasons" and that his wife disagrees with his stance on the death penalty. But he stopped short of actually taking back his words.

Imposing the death penalty for terminating a pregnancy is unthinkable, but Nonini has a history of horrific anti-woman behavior. Earlier this year, he was forced to apologize for making an inappropriate comment during a sexual harassment seminar.

Nonini is not alone, however. Idaho is full of Republican politicians hostile to abortion rights.

State Sen. Dan Foreman, who has drawn national scrutiny and an ethics investigation for screaming at his own constituents, has written legislation to make abortion punishable as first-degree murder. And one independent gadfly candidate in Idaho was so fixated on the issue that he legally changed his name to "Pro-Life".

Nor is this zealotry limited to Idaho. Two Republican lawmakers in Ohio recently introduced a bill that would ban all abortions and potentially open doctors who perform them to wrongful death suits, life imprisonment, or execution. And Kentucky State Rep. Dan Johnson, who took his own life last year after being accused of child molestation, had a bill in the works to make some miscarriages a crime.

Republicans this extreme are making laws like this all over the country. It will be up to voters to reject their authoritarian control of women.