Donald Trump: “I Misspoke” Saying “Punish” Women for Abortions, Blames “Convoluted” Question

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 1, 2016   |   8:51AM   |   Washington, DC

In a new interview with Fox News, Donald Trump says he “misspoke” the other day when he initially said women who would get an abortion after abortion becomes illegal again should be “punished.” Trump blames a question from pro-abortion MSNBC host Chris Matthews on a “convoluted” issue for his misspeaking.

“If in fact abortion is outlawed, the person performing the abortion, the doctor or who it may be is responsible — not the woman is responsible. I have the same stance as Ronald Reagan, I’ve had it from the beginning … It could be that I misspoke but this was a long, convoluted subject.”

UPDATE: Trump is also contending that MSNBC edited the interview, which the liberal network denies. MSNBC says it aired the interview in its entirety.

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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.