Glenn Clarifies Position On Abortion, Says He Is ‘100 Percent Pro-Life’

October 6, 2016
Photo: Darryl Glenn at RNC (AP Photo)
Darryl Glenn, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate from Colorado, speaks during the opening night of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Monday, July 18, 2016. 

Posted 3:15 p.m. | Updated 4:45 p.m.

Republican U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn offered his clearest position yet on abortion this week, but it may contradict earlier statements.

The statement came in response to a CPR News questionnaire sent to all of the U.S. Senate candidates, including Glenn's opponent Democratic Sen. Michael Bennet.

"I am 100 percent pro-life and believe life begins at conception. Women should have access to birth control. I would, however, be willing to support legal exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother," Glenn said, in part. (Full statement below)

The statement appears to be in conflict with Glenn's past statements to conservative organizations.

In a June 2016 post on its website, Colorado Right to Life says based a candidate survey answered by Glenn, he "pledged to be 100% pro-life." On the same page, Colorado Right to Life states, "no candidate who supports abortion for any reason is 'pro-life.' " The group dubbed Glenn's primary opponent Jon Keyser "pro-abortion" for saying he supports the right to end pregnancies that are the product of rape or incest.

Colorado Right to Life has not yet responded to a call for comment. Glenn's campaign spokeswoman Katey Price brushed off Colorado Right To Life, saying her candidate has received the endorsement of National Right To Life and their Colorado affiliate.

"That is the only pro-life endorsement that matters," Price said.

Glenn's abortion views came to the fore Wednesday when the Colorado Springs Independent published a 2015 video, in which Glenn called pregnancy "a gift from God". The video surfaced just hours after the Glenn campaign sent CPR News answers to the questionnaire

Here are his full comments from that video:

“If you want an abortion, don’t ask me to pay for it. That’s not something I’m gonna agree with. That’s a gift from God. There are no exceptions with that. But that doesn’t mean I’m not going to pray for you. … That’s a life, regardless of how it got there, and I’m going to pray for you.”

That caused the state Democratic Party to jump on his comment, calling him "extreme." 

But Price said the 2015 comments have been taken "completely out of context."

"Darryl's position is what we sent you," Price told CPR News. "If you watch that 33-second clip, it doesn't say anything about pregnancies arising from rape. It's him talking about exceptions to taxpayer [funded abortion]."

She added: "If you're asking me whether his position has substantially changed, I say no."

Price said there's a second, longer video of the event that shows Glenn's full comments on the issue. She said the campaign hasn't been able to find it yet, but said she will share it when it surfaces. 

Colorado Democrats said that Price's explanations were without merit.

"Darryl Glenn and the record have been clear - he is against abortion without exception," said Chris Meagher, a party spokesman.

Glenn has been hesitant to talk about abortion throughout the campaign, as Denverite's Erica Meltzer chronicled today. The issues page of his campaign website doesn't include anything on abortion.

Price said Glenn believes Coloradans are facing more pressing issues "that have devastated their livelihood, such as Obamacare. Those are the substantial issues we want to talk about, not abortion politics."

Below are the responses CPR News has received from U.S. Senate race candidates. See the full questionnaire here.

Do you support or oppose legalized abortion? Are there any exceptions? Please explain.
Michael Bennet (Democrat)In the Senate, I have worked to ensure women have access to safe and affordable health care, and have fought against efforts that would defund care and make it harder to obtain. I currently hold 100 percent ratings from both Planned Parenthood and NARAL Pro-Choice.
Darryl Glenn (Republican)I am 100 percent pro-life and believe life begins at conception. Women should have access to birth control. I would, however, be willing to support legal exceptions for rape, incest, and life of the mother. While I appreciate the question, it's one-sided and a proper question should also include a discussion on support for abortions performed in the last trimester.
Lily Tang Williams (Libertarian)Abortion is an intensely divisive and personal issue which has very sincere and intelligent people on both sides. Personally, I oppose abortion; I believe that we should make a strong effort to reduce the number of abortions performed in this country. While I do support legal abortions through the first part of the pregnancy, I do not believe that any part of the abortion should be funded by the federal government.
Bill Hammons (Unity)I don't support abortion so much as an individual's freedom to make their own choice in such a private matter.