In an interview with WMUR-TV, Republican Frank Szabo says if elected Hillsborough County Sheriff he'd arrest anyone who performs an abortion for any other purpose than saving the life of the mother.
UPDATE: NH GOP candidate apologizes for abortion comment
MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire businessman running for Hillsborough County sheriff has apologized for his statement that he would not rule out the use of deadly force to halt an abortion from taking place.
Republican Frank Szabo of Goffstown had said he believes elective abortions are not lawful and would arrest any doctor who performs them.
When asked recently if he would use deadly force to prevent abortions, he said the sheriff should do "everything in their power" to prevent the abortion from happening. On Thursday, he retracted his comments, saying he let his passionate stance against abortion "get the better of me." He said he would not use lethal force against an abortion doctor.
Szabo is one of four candidates running for county sheriff in the district that includes Manchester.
"If someone is seeking an elective abortion and certainly a late term abortion, certainly I would arrest them."
--On what grounds, it’s not illegal to have an abortion here, elective or otherwise.
"And that’s a very good point, that people don’t understand there’s a big difference between legal and lawful. It used to be legal in this country to own slaves. But it was never lawful, it was still a violation of their constitutional rights."
In response to a further question Szabo said he would do what it took to stop a doctor from performing an abortion, and wouldn't rule out using deadly force.
"Well I would hope it wouldn’t come to that, as with any situation when somebody is in danger, but again, specifically taking about elective abortions and late-term abortions, this is an act that must be stopped."
Frank Szabo lives in Goffstown. He’s challenging Sheriff Jim Hardy in the Republican primary. Szabo has no law enforcement background, but has won backing of several prominent Tea Party activists, including former Republican party chairman jack Kimball. In a statement, current GOP chairman Wayne MacDonald called Szabo’s comments a "outrageous" and "inexcusable." MacDonald stopped short of urging Szabo to leave the race.