Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has now flip-flopped on changing his position on whether or not women should be “punished” who potentially have illegal abortions when the day comes that unborn children are protected under law. Trump now says his initial answer supporting punishment was “not a wrong answer.”
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.
Trump then stirred controversy this weekend saying 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.
Now, in a new interview with Sean Hannity of Fox News, Trump said he gave a “great answer” to the question.
“That was a hypothetical question. That was not a wrong answer,” Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity during his show Monday night in Wisconsin. “There were other people that wrote me letters by the hundreds saying that was a great answer to that question the way it was raised.”
Trump maintained that he is “pro-life,” remarking that “I come with the three exceptions” — for rape, incest and life of the mother.
“You know, I’m pro-life, OK, with the exceptions, but I am pro-life,” he said. “I did the show because it’s not a high-rated show. He’s always been — I mean, he has never treated me very badly. And I didn’t think it was a big thing to do the show, and as a hypothetical question you give a hypothetical answer, and I didn’t see the big, big, huge deal.”
After the initial comments saying women should be punished, 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.