Kanye West Cries While Talking About Abortion and Daughter North at South Carolina Campaign Rally
Kanye West spoke about his views on abortion during the rally, revealing very personal details involving his wife Kim Kardashian West and mother Donda West
On Sunday, the 43-year-old rapper appeared in front of a small crowd of fans at the Exquis Event Center, wearing a bulletproof vest and "2020" shaved into his hairline. During his rambling speech, which lasted for over an hour, West made bizarre and controversial comments, including: "Harriet Tubman never actually freed the slaves, she just had them work for other white people."
In one instance during the event, which also turned into a Q&A session with attendees, West expressed his thoughts on Planned Parenthood and abortion, and broke down in tears after revealing very personal experiences involving his late mother Donda West and his wife Kim Kardashian West, who gave birth to daughter North in 2013 before the couple wed in 2014.
Describing the moment Kardashian West found out she was expecting their first child, West said, "In the Bible, it says, 'Thou shall not kill.' I remember that my girlfriend called me screaming and crying, and I was just thinking — because at that time I was a rapper I was out there, [had] different girlfriends and everything — and she said, 'I'm pregnant.' And I said, 'Yes!' And then I said, ‘Uh oh.' "
"She was crying… and for one month and two months and three months, we talked about her not having this child. She had the pills in her hand," West continued.
Then, West recalled sitting in a Paris apartment, where he said he had a revelation from God to keep the child.
"I'm in the apartment where my wife was actually robbed, and I have my laptop up and I have all of my creative ideas, I’ve got my shoes, I’ve got my next song cover… and the screen went black and white," he recalled. "And God said, 'If you f--- with my vision I’m gonna f--- with yours.' And I called my wife and she said, ‘We’re gonna have this baby,’ and I said ‘We’re gonna have this child.’ "
"Even if my wife wants to divorce me after this speech she brought North into the world even when I didn't want to. She stood up and she protected that child. You know who else protected a child? 43 years ago, who do you think protected a child?” West said at the rally as he began to sob uncontrollably.
"My mom saved my life. My dad wanted to abort me. My mom saved my life, there would have been no Kanye West because my dad was too busy," he said.
Reflecting on his own family with Kardashian West, with whom he also shares sons Saint, 4, and Psalm, 1, and 2-year-old daughter Chicago, West screamed, "I almost killed my daughter! I almost killed my daughter!" before yelling, "I love my daughter!"
Also during his talk, West said if he was elected to office, he would get rid of Plan B, an emergency contraceptive that helps prevent pregnancy within 72 hours after unprotected sex. His comment was received with several groans from the audience, from which he brought a woman named Georgia on stage to talk about his views on abortion.
Also at the rally, during which he spoke about his past relationship with Amber Rose, his Adidas partnership and gun laws, West addressed criticism he has faced since announcing his bid. "The most racist thing that has ever been said out loud is the idea that if Kanye West runs for president, I'm going to split the Black votes," he said.
"I don't give a f--- if I win the presidency or not… I am in service to God," West added during his speech about his bid. "God has a plan for us and his people to be finally free. Trump, Biden, or Kanye West cannot free us."
Since launching his campaign, West has repeatedly said people will assume he's "crazy," a seeming reference to his mental health. He had previously confirmed a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. "God just gave me the clarity and said it's time," he told Forbes earlier this month. "You know I was out there, ended up in the hospital, people were calling me crazy. I'm not crazy."
The South Carolina rally was his first campaign event since announcing his bid for the presidency in a brief tweet on the Fourth of July. "We must now realize the promise of America by trusting God, unifying our vision and building our future," he wrote at the time. (Kardashian West retweeted her husband's post and added an American flag emoji.)
West's rally came just days after he filed his first official paperwork regarding his campaign in Oklahoma. A spokeswoman for the state's election board previously confirmed to PEOPLE that a West representative filed paperwork on Wednesday to qualify him to run as an independent on the November ballot.
West paid the required $35,000 filing fee and also submitted a statement of candidacy. Wednesday was the last day for candidates to file in Oklahoma in order to appear on November's ballot there.
Meanwhile, South Carolina's deadline to file signatures as an independent candidate was moved from July 15 to July 20 at noon. The state does not allow write-in candidates.
Separately on Wednesday, West's team appeared to have filed a statement of organization with the Federal Election Commission designating his principal campaign committee as Kanye 2020. The form, reviewed by PEOPLE, listed the office West is seeking as the presidency and his political party as "BDY," seemingly a reference to the Birthday Party, which West mentioned in a recent Forbes interview.
The FEC form names an Andre Bodiford as treasurer of the committee, which is the official group that raises and spends money on behalf of West's candidacy. (A message left at Bodiford's listed number was not returned. A spokesman for West did not respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.)
The next day, West appeared to have filed his statement of candidacy, which under federal law would make him a presidential candidate.
West still faces significant hurdles to appear on the ballot in most states in the November election as one recent national poll put his support at 2 percent. He needs 270 electoral votes to win, and there are only 306 electoral votes left among the states, including Washington, D.C., where the filing deadlines have yet to pass.