Donald Trump: Don’t Change Abortion Laws, “The Laws are Set, We Have to Leave it That Way”

State   Steven Ertelt   Apr 2, 2016   |   8:58AM    Washington, DC

Donald Trump has commented on the issue of abortion again with a statement that is ure to upset pro-life voters further after repeatedly applauding the Planned Parenthood abortion business. In new remarks on Friday, Trump said the nation’s abortion laws — which allow virtually unlimited abortions and have resulted in the destruction of 58 million unborn children, should not be changed.

Trump said, “The laws are set now on abortion and that’s the way they’re going to remain until they’re changed.”

“I would’ve preferred states’ rights,” he added. “I think it would’ve been better if it were up to the states. But right now, the laws are set….At this moment, the laws are set. And I think we have to leave it that way.”

The comments come just days after Trump stirred a nationwide controversy by saying women who have potentially illegal abortions should be “punished,” and the subsequently backtracking just hours later to say that abortion bans should target abortion practitioners instead.

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Here’s more from CBS News:

Trump sought to clarify his position during an interview on Friday with “Face the Nation” moderator John Dickerson. The interview will air, in part, on Sunday’s broadcast.

“A question was asked to me. And it was asked in a very hypothetical. And it was said, ‘Illegal, illegal,'” Trump explained. “I’ve been told by some people that was an older line answer and that was an answer that was given on a, you know, basis of an older line from years ago on a very conservative basis.”

Asked how he’d like to change the law to further restrict access to abortions, Trump replied, “The laws are set now on abortion and that’s the way they’re going to remain until they’re changed.”

“I would’ve preferred states’ rights,” he added. “I think it would’ve been better if it were up to the states. But right now, the laws are set….At this moment, the laws are set. And I think we have to leave it that way.”

“Do you think abortion is murder?” Dickerson asked.

“I have my opinions on it, but I’d rather not comment on it,” Trump replied.

“You said you were very pro-life,” Dickerson followed up. “Pro-life means that…abortion is murder.”

“I mean, I do have my opinions on it. I just don’t think it’s an appropriate forum,” said Trump.

“But you don’t disagree with that proposition, that it’s murder?” Dickerson asked.

“No, I don’t disagree with it,” Trump eventually replied.

After Friday’s comments, Trump’s campaign released a statement clarifying his comments.

Trump campaign communications manager Hope Hicks released a statement to CBS News late Friday clarifying the candidate’s comments:

“Mr. Trump gave an accurate account of the law as it is today and made clear it must stay that way now –until he is President,” Hicks said. “Then he will change the law through his judicial appointments and allow the states to protect the unborn. There is nothing new or different here.”

Earlier this week, Trump surrogates were doing damage control — also saying he misspoke — for the Republican presidential candidate after he told MSNBC in an interview that women should be punished for having abortions if abortions are someday banned again.

“Should abortion be punished? This is not something you can dodge,” pro-abortion MSNBC host Chris Matthews asked him.

“Look, people in certain parts of the Republican Party, conservative Republicans, would say, ‘Yes, it should,’” Trump responded.

Trump later added that “there has to be some form of punishment” for women who get abortions after a ban is implemented, acknowledging the punishment would “have to be determined.”

Trump quickly walked back his statement in two successive statements from his campaign and said his position is that abortion practitioners should be held accountable, not the women involved.

“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 Trump campaign said in the statement  just hours later after significant criticism.

Abortion activists like Hillary Clinton and Planned Parenthood have already seized on the comments to bash pro-life people and many pro-life advocates have said Trump hurt the pro-life cause with his comment and subsequent reversal.

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.

That pro-woman mentality is partly due to the understanding that the abortion industry preys on women — selling them abortions by lying to them about the humanity of their unborn children and the destructive effects abortion will have. The pro-woman, pro-life attitude is also partly due to the fact that the pro-life movement is led by millions of women who had abortions and now deeply regret their decisions, thanks to a change of heart on abortion, or a religious conversion or a simply understanding that they took the life of their own child.

When abortions were illegal pre-Roe, women were not prosecuted and current abortion bans, such as the ban on partial-birth abortions, do not punish women who have abortions.

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