Trump: Women who get illegal abortions should be punished

2016-03-31 07:17
(Chuck Burton, AP)

(Chuck Burton, AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


WATCH: Teen 'groped', pepper-sprayed at Trump rally

2016-03-30 10:22

A 15-year-old girl was allegedly groped before being pepper-sprayed by a man outside a Donald Trump rally in Janesville, Wisconsin on Tuesday. Watch. WATCH

Washington - Women who have illegal abortions should be punished, Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump said on Wednesday, before backpedaling after a firestorm erupted over his latest controversial comment.

Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton branded Trump's remark "horrific," Bernie Sanders called it "shameful" and even major pro-life groups spoke out strongly against punishing women who have abortions.

Trump's comment came during a combative interview on MSNBC, with host Chris Matthews pressing the billionaire reality TV star to specify how a woman should be punished, if abortion were banned in the United States.

"This is the difficult situation you placed yourself in, by saying you're pro-life you want to ban abortion," Matthews said. "How do you ban abortion without some kind of sanction?"

Trump tried to sidestep the question, saying he hadn't determined what kind of punishment a woman should face for having an abortion, but acknowledged "the answer is that there has to be some form of punishment."

Asked if the man who gets the woman pregnant should be punished, Trump responded, "I would say no."

The 69-year-old Trump, who during his political life has been a Democrat and an independent and is only a recent convert to the "pro-life" anti-abortion position, has been accused in the past of flip-flopping on the hot-button issue.

Clinton wasted little time in voicing her disgust at Trump's remarks, the latest in a series from a candidate accused of peddling misogyny and anti-Muslim sentiment on the campaign trail.

Trump is also struggling badly to attract women voters nationally.

"Just when you thought it couldn't get worse. Horrific and telling," Clinton said in a tweet.

As the outcry grew, the Clinton campaign posted a flurry of tweets saying all women deserve equal access to health care, apparently seeking to capitalize on the momentum.

"We can't let someone with this much contempt for women's rights anywhere near the White House," one posting said.

Clinton and other Democratic lawmakers are defenders of a woman's right to obtain an abortion, a procedure still fiercely opposed by many Republicans, four decades after the US Supreme Court affirmed its legality nationwide.

Even Trump's ultraconservative rival Ted Cruz, an evangelical Texas senator, bashed Trump, accusing the real estate mogul of saying "anything just to get attention."

Ohio Governor John Kasich, the third candidate in the Republican race for the White House, also weighed in: "Of course women shouldn't be punished," he told MSNBC.

Women's health provider Planned Parenthood, which conservatives oppose for its abortion practices, said Trump "is now inciting violence against women for making a decision that's theirs to make."


The Trump campaign later Wednesday issued a statement on abortion, without mentioning his remarks to MSNBC, but reversing the stance he took in the interview.

If abortion were to become illegal under US law, then the doctor or any other person involved in performing the procedure would be legally responsible, the statement said.

"The woman is a victim in this case as is the life in her womb. My position has not changed, like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions," said the statement.

It was the latest twist for Trump, who has taken contradictory or competing stances on issues including torture, bans on Muslims entering the United States, violence at his rallies and the racist Ku Klux Klan movement.

Despite his success in statewide Republican nominating contests to date, a major challenge for Trump is winning support from women voters.

Trump has called women "fat pigs," "slobs" and "disgusting animals," and most recently was castigated in the media for posting an unflattering photo of Cruz's wife next to a photo of his own wife, an ex-model.

Trump has denied being sexist, saying his remarks are just "show business" and that "nobody respects women more than I do."

Wisconsin is the next state to host a primary, on April 5. According to a new poll from Marquette University Law School, 40% of likely voters there said they supported Cruz, compared to 30% for Trump.

Seventy percent of registered voters polled said they have an unfavorable view of Trump, compared to about 22% that have a favorable view.

Read more on:    donald trump  |  us  |  gender equality  |  us 2016 elections

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.