Wednesday night, Donald Trump, the leading Republican candidate for president, was being questioned by MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on various issues in the race for the White House.
Matthews asked Mr. Trump about his stance on the abortion issue and Trump’s response and subsequent about face, has lead to comments and concerns from all sides.
Mr. Trump told Matthews there needed to be “some sort of punishment” for women who undergo abortions. This according to Trump included jail time.
Scrambling to control the ire raised by the comments, Trump later issued the following statement:
If Congress were to pass legislation making abortion illegal and the federal courts upheld this legislation, or any state were permitted to ban abortion under state and federal law, the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman. 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. – Donald Trump
The u-turn statement now made doctors who performed abortions the guilty party.
Here are some headlines from around the country, but first the video of Mr. Trump being interviewed on MSNBC (video from YouTube/tpmtv);
The New York Times: Donald Trump, Abortion Foe, Eyes ‘Punishment’ for Women, Then Recants…. Donald J. Trump said on Wednesday that women who seek abortions should be subject to “some form of punishment” if the procedure is banned in the United States, further elevating Republican concerns that his explosive remarks about women could doom the party in the fall.
CNN: Clinton slams Trump abortion comments, says: ‘The Republicans all line up together’…Washington (CNN)Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton pounced on Donald Trump’s comment Wednesday on MSNBC that abortion should be banned and women who receive one should should face “some form of punishment,” seeking to tie it the entire GOP field. Hours later, Trump reversed his initial position — criticized as extreme by both supporters and opponents of abortion rights — saying only the doctors should be held liable.
Politico: Trump’s 24 hours of Mayhem…Donald Trump yanked the Republican Party toward a contested convention over the past 24 hours as he let rip an extraordinary series of statements on abortion, the Geneva Conventions, violence against women and his own commitment to supporting the GOP presidential nominee that seemed to obliterate the notion that the party will unite behind him anytime soon. The fallout for Trump has been swift, as Republican rivals denounced the real estate mogul’s escalating attacks on a reporter who accused Trump’s campaign manager of battery and his suggestion that women should be punished for seeking abortions if the procedure is outlawed — a statement Trump quickly tried to walk back.
Washington Post: Trump: If abortions are banned, women who seek them should face ‘punishment’… APPLETON, Wis. — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump came under fire Wednesday for saying that women should be subject to “some sort of punishment” for undergoing illegal abortions, a position that antiabortion and abortion rights groups alike emphatically denounced. The GOP front-runner said during a pre-taped town hall hosted by MSNBC that criminal punishments would be appropriate for women seeking abortions if the procedure were made illegal nationwide. Moderator Chris Matthews pressed Trump on the practical implications of banning abortions.
Reuters, as did other media, reported comments from Mr. Trump’s opponents:
“Of course, women shouldn’t be punished,” rival Republican candidate John Kasich said on Wednesday, saying he opposed abortion except in specific cases such as rape.
U.S. Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, the third candidate for the Republican nomination for the Nov. 8 election, said Trump had not thought through the issue. “What’s far too often neglected is that being pro-life is not simply about the unborn child, it’s also about the mother,” he said in a statement.
DISCORD AMONG THE REPUBLICANS
Abortion rights supporters were equally incensed.
“What Donald Trump said was outrageous and dangerous. I’m constantly taken aback at the kinds of things that he advocates for,” Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton told MSNBC. “Once again, he has showed us who he is.”