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(screenshot from MSNBC)
(screenshot from MSNBC)

WATCH: Donald Trump Says Women Should Be Punished For Abortions

Questioned by MSNBC host Chris Matthews about whether he is believes women should be punished for having abortions, Donald Trump responded that he does believe “there has to be some form of punishment.”  He would not specify whether by punishment he meant jail time or some other penalty.

During a pre-recorded town hall event Wednesday afternoon, the Hardball host pressed the Republican presidential frontrunner to clarify his abortion stance, an issue that has many evangelical voters concerned about the candidate’s pro-life credentials.

“If you say abortion is a crime or abortion is murder, you have to deal with it under the law,” Matthews reminded Trump.  Donald responded that he believes there should be a ban on abortion and that women will probably still seek abortion if it is passed.  Those women would receive punitive action.  He just can’t say yet what. That would “have to be determined.”

Men would not be punished for abortion, Trump also told Matthews.

“You go back to a position like they had where they would perhaps go to illegal places, but we have to ban it,” Trump said, when asks what would happen if abortion is banned.

The spread of the Zika virus in the hardline anti-abortion countries of Central and South America has brought the issue of illegal abortions and economic injustice into the public spotlight in recent weeks, highlighting the relative ease in which wealthy women are able to get illegal abortions which are more safe than not, whereas poor women often endure extremely unsafe health practices, risking jail and death.

According to Matthews, positions from the pro-choice movement that we haven’t heard in a while resurfaced for him as he interviewed Trump.  How is it fair for a woman whose options are to raise a child without resources or else face a potentially deadly procedure that has been criminalized?  Can’t there be another choice for her?

According to pro-life news source LifeNews, even extreme anti-abortion advocates are put off by Trump’s lack of knowledge and clear stance on the issue.  In their latest pieces, they accuse Trump of hurting the pro-life movement.  About the Chris Matthews interview, LifeNews published “The Inept Thing Donald Trump Said About Women Who Have Abortions is Making Pro-Lifers Cringe,” which included the statement:

While pro-life advocates yearn for the day when unborn children are protected under law and abortions are banned, the pro-life movement has historically opposed punishing women who have abortions — instead focusing on holding abortion practitioners criminally accountable for the unborn children they kill in abortions.

About the interview, Matthews said on MSNBC, “I think he’s sort of put up the pro-life flag without really given it the focus he’s given to immigration or ISIS[…]”

“His answers are fascinating,” Matthews said, not wanting to give away the entire interview which will air before the Town Hall tonight. “People will find out something tonight that they don’t want to hear.”

Ted Cruz has long-been stirring the pot for his competitor, alleging that Donald’s “New York Values” will never make him tough on abortion, like in these comments he made to a Yahoo News reporter before the Iowa primaries:

“Donald explained that he was very very pro-choice and supported partial-birth abortion. And he explained the reason for that is that he was a New Yorker and those are the views of the people of New York,” Cruz said. “He similarly explained how he was open to gay marriage … and again he explained that he was a New Yorker and that’s — you had to understand that. … He has New York views and he explicitly contrasts that and says those are not Iowa values.”

Trump is facing the public’s response to a video interview he made in 1999 in which he claims, “I am pro-choice in every respect.”

The Trump quote which pro-life bloggers and pundits are using again and again is as follows:

“Well, look, I’m — I’m very pro-choice. I hate the concept of abortion. I hate it. I hate everything it stands for. I cringe when I listen to people debating the subject, but you still — I just believe in choice,” said Trump. “Again, it may be a little bit of a New York background because there is some different attitude in different parts of the country. And, you know, I was raised in New York, and grew up, and work, and everything else in New York City. But I am strongly for choice and yet I hate the concept of abortion.”


About Rebecca Lawrence

Rebecca Lawrence is a freelancer in Brooklyn, NY. She is owned by two blind cats. Tweet at her @rebeccalawrence

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