Cecile Richards: Pro-Life People Want Police to Investigate Women After Their Miscarriages

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 1, 2016   |   1:18PM   |   Washington, DC

In a new interview about the controversy surrounding Donald Trump’s initial comments that he would favor punishing women who have potentially illegal abortions, Cecile Richards used an interview with MSNBC to trash pro-life people and pro-life presidential candidates John Kasich and Ted Cruz.

Although Cruz and Kasich disagree with prosecuting women who have abortions, Richards made the false claim that they agree with Trumps original position. (Trump later backtracked and said only abortion practitioners should be prosecuted). Trump has since said he misspoke.

Then, Richards went beyond the pale and suggested that pro-life people want ot move beyond punishing women who have illegal abortions to having police investigate their miscarriages.

Here’s what Richards said and video of her comments:

MSNBC: Thanks for coming back for this occasion. What is your reaction to what Donald Trump said on the tap we just showed.

RICHARDS: Obviously what he said was outrageous. I think what’s important, I’m glad you pushed him on it, though. What’s important to recognize is Donald Trump’s position on making abortion a crime is the exact same position that John Kasich has. That Ted Cruz has. And frankly, the Republican National Committee and their platform. So I I think that the logical — next question which you pushed him on, what will we do when women are criminals and doctors are criminals, because abortion is outlawed. That’s a legitimate question. Although people may not want to hear it, women will be punished, we know they will be. We know what happens in El Salvador where women are in jail, clinicians are in jail. When women miscarry, they’re investigated by police. It’s really important legitimate questions to ask.

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Yesterday, 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.