DENVER – The state’s largest group of abortion opponents is questioning Republican U.S. Senate candidate Darryl Glenn’s record on the subject.
Colorado Right to Life said Glenn raised flags during a recent interview in which he was asked about abortion, specifically the personhood effort. Proponents of personhood seek to assign constitutional rights to the unborn in an effort to ban abortion.
Glenn made the comments July 15 on Jon Caldara’s Colorado Public Television show, “Devil’s Advocate.”
“As a person who has two adult daughters, I put myself in that situation. And I want to make sure that when we’re talking about health care, you want to make sure that women have the ability and access to health care, so that they understand all the different options that are out there,” Glenn said. “And at some point in time, maybe they might have to make that decision. But that is a personal decision that they have to make between them and ... God.”
The response prompted Caldara to ask, “Does that mean I’m hearing that you’re ...”
Before Caldara could get the words out, Glenn responded, “I’m not pro-choice.”
Caldara countered, “You’re pro-life as a man, but as a politician, do you defend abortion on demand?”
Glenn responded, “I’m absolutely opposed to abortion. But I’m saying, how you handle health issues is different than the abortion question ... I want to make sure that women have access to counseling, all types of preventative health care screenings ... Be able to understand that if you end up in a situation where you have the unplanned pregnancy, that there are other options that are out there ... But I want to be able to show you grace, love and compassion so that I can help you and make sure that you make an informed decision.”
For a self-described “unapologetic Christian, constitutional conservative, pro-life, Second Amendment-loving veteran,” the comments bring into question Glenn’s trustworthiness on the subject of abortion, say anti-abortion leaders in Colorado.
“I’m willing to say on behalf of our organization that his comments were not nearly as strong as we would hope,” said Susan Sutherland, vice president of Colorado Right to Life. “He was just trying to play a little bit of political maneuvering there.”
Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner ran into a similar situation in 2014 when he defeated incumbent Democrat Mark Udall. To defeat Udall, Gardner walked more to the middle on the abortion issue, attempting to distance himself from personhood.
Glenn proudly leaned to the right during the primary, which helped propel the relatively unknown El Paso County commissioner to success in a crowded GOP field.
Glenn’s honesty also came into question last week after reports that he was arrested in connection with a domestic incident more than 30 years ago. Glenn said he couldn’t remember being arrested Nov. 20, 1983, in Colorado Springs, when he “got between” his mother and father after his father allegedly struck Glenn’s mother.
The incident was brought to light after an investigation by The Denver Post.
“The last thing that he can afford is a breach in his base,” said Colorado political analyst Eric Sondermann. “He’s been trying to get to the right of everyone else. People are going to start to question just how ready for prime time he is as a candidate.”
Glenn’s campaign declined to comment when asked by The Durango Herald.
Glenn responded “favorably” to a candidate survey distributed by Colorado Right to Life. But “sometimes that meaning is not fully revealed,” Sutherland said.
“That is a potential red flag and that could be a problem,” she added of Glenn’s comments to Caldara.
“Pro-life has come to mean anything. The Democrats are not really the problem. They are openly and rabidly pro-baby murder. Republicans, they continue to be the problem because ... they don’t have the guts or the willingness to truly protect those innocent baby boys and girls who are the ones being murdered,” Sutherland said.
“With Darryl Glenn, we are hoping to speak with him very soon ... Until we do that, we do have a problem with his comments.”