(FOX 25 / MyFoxBoston.com) - Republican candidate for Hillsborough County Sheriff Frank Szabo is apologizing for saying he supports the use of deadly force against doctors who perform abortions.
Szabo told the Bedford, New Hampshire Patch, "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?"
His comments have sparked outrage.
"I mean that's like putting a gun to somebody's head. That's wrong," Elizabeth Seymour of Weare, N.H. said.
Both Democrats and members of his own Republican Party are calling for him to quit the race.
On his website, Szabo apologized calling his words "inexcusable" saying he regrets and "fully retracts" them.
"I want to point out for someone as adamantly pro-life as me, walking in on an abortion is the equivalent of walking in on someone who is in the process of stabbing someone else. When caught off guard by questions about using lethal force, I answered based on that understanding," Szabo explained.
Some believe that Szabo used a poor choice of words, and that's all.
"I think he's right, but as a politician he's probably not," said Bob Sarette.
Incumbent Sheriff James Hardy, who is also a Republican, told FOX 25's Sharman Sacchetti, "He's trying to substitute his views and opinions for the law."
Sheriff Hardy said it's not up to him to call for Szabo to quit the race, but said "I will tell you his remarks are reckless and irresponsible and the type of things that can incite violence."
Szabo also says if he wins, he'd use the sheriff's office to arrest for murder doctors who perform abortions. He says he still stands by that statement saying abortion is legal but he doesn't believe it's lawful.
FOX 25 tried emailing and calling Szabo, but received no response.
Szabo's comments come the same week Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney called on Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin to quit the race.
Akin came under fire from his own party for saying women's bodies can prevent pregnancies in cases of what he called "legitimate rape."
Statement from Frank W. Szabo For Sheriff of Hillsborough County:
Apology to my supporters:
Never in my wildest nightmare would I advocate violence, especially the initiation of deadly force. My supporters know that I am a man of peace. Yesterday's interview was poor judgment on my part.
It never occurred to me that I was being asked about using deadly force as an aggressor. Initiation of violence is not part of my consciousness. If the reporter came out and asked me plainly, "Would I shoot the doctor?", I would have been appalled at the question.
A formal apology will be issued this morning and posted on my website.