Despite the president’s alleged funding of abortions for his former mistresses, Donald Trump said during his 2016 campaign that women who have abortions should be punished if the procedure is outlawed in the United States.
Trump only walked back the comments after both pro-life and pro-choice camps were outraged by the call for penalizing women.
> The statement came as Mr. Trump appeared at a town-hall-style forum with Chris Matthews of MSNBC, recorded for broadcast on Wednesday night. Mr. Matthews pressed Mr. Trump, who once supported abortion rights, on his calls to ban the procedure, asking how he might enforce such a restriction.
> “You go back to a position like they had where they would perhaps go to illegal places,” Mr. Trump said, after initially deflecting questions. “But you have to ban it.”
> He added, after a bit more prodding, “There has to be some form of punishment.”
> The comment, which Mr. Trump later recanted, attracted instant, bipartisan criticism — the latest in a series of high-profile episodes that have shined a light on Mr. Trump’s feeble approval ratings among women nationally.
> In this case, Mr. Trump also ran afoul of conservative doctrine, with opponents of abortion rights immediately castigating him for suggesting that those who receive abortions — and not merely those who perform them — should be punished if the practice is outlawed.
The Times noted that Trump appeared to hold pro-choice views up until 2011, when he attended the Conservative Political Action Conference and made known he was considering a presidential run in 2012.