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(LifeSiteNews) — Democrat environmental activist turned independent presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is now claiming that if elected he plans to “dramatically reduce abortion” with federally subsidized daycare, even while keeping abortion-on-demand legal in the name of “freedom.”

Kennedy, nephew of the late President John F. Kennedy and son of the late Attorney General Robert Kennedy, announced last April he would be running in the Democrat primary against incumbent President Joe Biden, presenting himself as a challenger to the orthodoxies of both parties. But after months of contending that party leadership had “rigged” the primary process against him, Kennedy announced in October he was switching to an independent bid.

The candidate has previously confirmed on multiple occasions that he remains “pro-choice” on abortion despite breaking from his former party’s conventional wisdom on some issues, and he most recently unveiled a formal policy position entitled “More Choices, More Life” on his campaign website.

Purporting to offer a “way forward” from the typical abortion debate, Kennedy said that while the plan would “safeguard” abortion, its centerpiece would be a “massive subsidized daycare initiative.” Federal tax dollars currently being sent to Ukraine would be redirected to “community- and home-based daycares, along with stay-at-home parents,” covering “100% of care for the three million children under five who live beneath our poverty line” and capping “the cost at 10% of family income for everyone else.”

Kennedy claims that his plan, which also includes increased child tax credits and funding for pregnancy support charities, “has the potential to add $1 trillion to our GDP, according to Moodys.”

“And since economics is a major driver of abortion, this policy will do more to lower abortion rates than any coercive measure ever could,” he continued, ignoring a large body of evidence showing that pro-life laws successfully prevent abortions and raise birth rates. 

READ: Dobbs was no pyrrhic victory: tens of thousands of lives have been saved from abortion

Alleviating the financial “need” for abortion through new welfare programs has long been floated by earnest policy analysts as well as politicians looking to split the difference between abortion supporters and opponents. Data suggests that just under a quarter of women who obtain abortions cite the costs of having children as their reason why, meaning that even if fully successful, such a policy would leave more than 75% of abortions unaffected.

As for those abortions, Kennedy confirmed in an interview earlier this month that he “would sign a federal law that guaranteed women have a right [sic] to choose” abortion.

While his answer left some ambiguity on the details – i.e., whether he would distinguish between a bill allowing states to still pass some pro-life measures or something like the so-called Women’s Health Protection Act, which would go far beyond Roe and make it illegal for states to pass virtually any pro-life laws – the answer put him in alignment with Democrat President Joe Biden’s calls to federally codify Roe v. Wade, and the Democrat Party’s “safe, legal, and rare” formulation of the 1990s and early 2000s.


RFK’s reminders of his conventional Democrat stance on abortion follows the announcement of left-wing donor Nicole Shanahan as his running mate, which sparked vocal disappointment from many who had previously expressed varying degrees of sympathy and support for him, and had been expecting a running mate less aligned with conventional Democrat politics.

Others reacted by arguing the choice should not have been surprising given the various left-wing positions Kennedy retains, despite having won praise from the right over his opposition to COVID-19 shots and mandates.

Biden is running on his absolutist pro-abortion record, while the presumptive Republican nominee, former President Donald Trump, governed as pro-life in his first term but now says he will refuse to sign a federal abortion ban, declaring the matter should be left to the states while criticizing strong pro-life laws in Arizona and Florida.

Polls currently indicate a razor-thin popular vote but a comfortable margin of victory for Trump in the Electoral College, although voters also say that convictions in Trump’s various ongoing legal battles would make them less likely to support him. However, serious concern among Democrats over Biden’s age and mental health, and deep dissatisfaction with his job performance, give the current president comparable electoral challenges.

How Kennedy’s run will impact the race has long been a subject of speculation, given he appeals both to Democrats who want a more mentally capable and seemingly less extreme liberal, and Republicans who prefer his COVID stance to Trump’s record on the subject.

At the moment, the aforementioned polls suggest Kennedy draws roughly the same number of votes from both Trump and Biden. But given how close many are predicting the election to be, concern persists over how even small defections could impact the outcome.