Szabo Compares Abortions to Slavery, Condones Use of Deadly Force
"Just because a law is on the books does not mean that it's lawful," the Hillsborough County Sheriff candidate said.
Update: Frank Szabo, this morning, apologized for the comments detailed in the story below. For more information, click here.
Original story: In the face of criticism from both New Hampshire Democrats and high-ranking members of his own party, Republican candidate for Hillsborough County Sheriff Frank Szabo is not backing off his comments that deadly force is an appropriate means to prevent abortion.
"Just because a law is on the books does not mean that it's lawful," said Szabo. "I talk about the difference of 'legal' and 'lawful.' It used to be legal to own slaves, but that didn't make it lawful. It used to be legal to restrict someone of color to the back of bus ... Just because a piece of legislation says it's legal to murder the unborn doesn't make it lawful."
Szabo contends it's the responsibility of the sheriff to protect the lives, property and citizens of the country and the state.
"The big issue here is the sheriff is supposed to protect all of its citizens," he said. "Just because a person is not born yet doesn't mean he or she shouldn't have same level of protection. Someone needs to stand up and tell federal and state officials they're wrong if it's in the best interest of citizens ... but my main point is deadly force is always a last resort."
Today, GOP gubernatorial candidate Kevin Smith posted a Twitter message denouncing Szabo:
"Frank Szabo's comment on using deadly force to stop abortions is irresponsible/dangerous. No place for him in GOP-shouldn't be tolerated."
Szabo did an interview with the television station WMUR this morning. And while he hasn't had an opportunity to watch it, he said he stands by his comments.
"I've seen some chatter going on because of interview I did this morning with WMUR ... but one comment I've seen is Kevin Smith calling for me to step down because of my belief that the use of deadly force is appropriate to prevent an abortion," said Szabo. "I don't think anybody would have trouble with preventing a full-grown human being from being murdered, so why would anyone object to the use of deadly force to prevent the murder of an unborn human?"
Szabo went on to clarify his assertion, saying he does not object to abortions if the life of a mother is on the line.
"That's a medical issue," he said, "but as far as elective abortions, and abortions being used as birth control and late-term abortions, absolutely, I stand by my belief."
"My wife and I went through in-vitro ... and I have a photograph of my daughter when she was 8-cells old," he added. "Someone would have to be very convincing to convince me life doesn't begin at conception."
Yesterday, Raymond Buckley, chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, called on Andy Sanborn and fellow Republican state senate candidates Phil Greazzo and Joseph Krasucki to publicly reject the endorsement and support of the Republican Liberty Caucus, which announced that it will work on behalf of Szabo, who has promised to arrest doctors who provide legal abortions.
"Phil Greazzo, Andy Sanborn and Joe Krasuki should publicly reject the endorsement of the Republican Liberty Caucus and denounce its support for the dangerous and extreme campaign of Frank Szabo," said Buckley. "Greazzo, Sanborn and Krasucki are running to be leaders in Hillsborough County. Well it is now time for them to show leadership and stand up for the rights of all citizens.
"The Republican Liberty Caucus is preaching that elected officials can ignore existing laws and make up their own laws," he continued. "Greazzo, Sanborn and Krasucki should reject its endorsement and its extreme agenda."
Sanborn, however, was equally critical of Buckley and Szabo, saying the focus should be on jobs and the economy.
"I might suggest Mr. Buckley learn how to read because the RLC hasn't endorsed me," said the District 9 Senate candidate. "But if Frank Szabo made statement like that, he should withdraw from the race ... I don't know all the exact responsibilities of a county sheriff ... but my gut would tell me having the authority to go arrest people for performing legal medical procedures is a pretty high stretch.
"We're suppose to be running to solve problems, to get people back to work and lower taxes," he added. "As a candidate for state senate, everyone knows that's what I'm focusing on, and that's what all elected officials should be focusing on right now."
Still, Szabo remains resolute.
"I'm certainly not surprised (at the outcry) and again, people are certainly welcome to your opinion," said Szabo, "but my understating is murder is murder, and honestly, I don't know if I've ever had any support from Democrats."