David Young
David Young
August 12, 2013

Carroll, Iowa

A spokesperson for Republican U.S. Senate candidate David Young says he believes abortion should only be a legal option in cases where the life of the pregnant mother is in jeopardy.

Heather Swift, the communications director for the candidate, a former chief of staff to U.S. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, said this has been Young's long-standing position on abortion policy.

However, it differs from comments Young made in an interview last month with The Daily Times Herald in which he repeatedly advocated legalized abortion for women who have been victims of rape and incest.

Here is the full text of that exchange - part of a broader, multi-topic 45-minute session:

Daily Times Herald: On abortion, you would describe yourself as pro-life?

Young: Yeah.

Daily Times Herald: Would you make any exceptions for a woman who has been raped or a victim of incest?

Young: I think about my nieces and sister in law, and just how awful that would be. And I want it to be as rare as possible. But as long as it's legal, I want it to be safe.

And I'd like to really go after the criminal, the rapist.

Daily Times Herald: So if a woman is raped, you think she should have access to an abortion?

Young: She does and she should.

Daily Times Herald: But if it is for birth control, when they have had consensual sex, then they shouldn't have access to it?

Young: I'm sorry. Say that again.

Daily Times Herald: You're pro-life on abortion in a political sense. Correct? In what circumstances should abortion be illegal in your opinion?

Young: Well, if you look at some of that Dr. (Kermit) Gosnell stuff, that stuff really bothered me after the 20 weeks. I mean, that's infanticide. That's just horrific stuff. That was a chamber of horrors. The House, I think, is doing a 20-week abortion bill over there. I would be supportive of that.

Daily Times Herald: So banning abortion after 20 weeks of a pregnancy then?

Young: Yeah.

Daily Times Herald: What if somebody was raped or a victim of incest? Would they get a waiver then after that to have an abortion later?

Young: I haven't thought enough about this. This is going pretty deep. Can we talk about this again?

Daily Times Herald: Yeah, yeah, yeah, just generally speaking, you say you're pro-life but you would make exceptions for victims of rape and incest. Incest by definition is rape.

Young: Right. I would like them to have the baby but ...

Daily Times Herald: But you don't think they should be forced to do it?

Young: Right.

Daily Times Herald: So if your view prevails, and abortion is criminalized in the vast majority of cases, what do you think the penalty should be for a woman who has an abortion or a doctor who performs one? And I'm not asking for a specific year? I'm not saying this sentence is five to seven years. But do you think they should be fined or do you think they should be imprisoned?

Young: I'm not ready to answer that because you're really going deep, and I have not thought about this, and I should have, before walking into any kind of interview.

Daily Times Herald: But that's the end game of the pro-life position is to criminalize it, and criminalizing it would obviously entail either a fine or imprisonment, wouldn't it?

Young: Well, I'd like to leave it up to the states, ultimately. For the past 40 years. We're not going to get it at the federal level, banning this thing, partially because the votes aren't there. And because of judges in my opinion. So I think the states need to take the lead on this - and I am fine with. I'm not running for U.S. minister and that kind of thing. I love the Lord but these two issues (abortion and gay marriage), I know a lot of people are going to be talking about, especially on the right.