Trump did an interview with Chris Matthews today where the topic of banning abortion came up. Trump was pressed on whether a woman who has an illegal abortion should be punished:
BLOOMBERG – At a taping of an MSNBC town hall to be aired later, host Chris Matthews pressed Trump on his anti-abortion position, repeatedly asking him, “Should abortion be punished? This is not something you can dodge.”
“Look, people in certain parts of the Republican Party, conservative Republicans, would say, ‘Yes, it should,’” Trump answered.
“How about you?” Matthews asked.
“I would say it’s a very serious problem and it’s a problem we have to decide on. Are you going to send them to jail?” Trump said.
“I’m asking you,” Matthews said.
“I am pro-life,” Trump said. Asked how a ban would actually work, Trump said, “Well, you go back to a position like they had where they would perhaps go to illegal places but we have to ban it,” Trump said.
Matthews then pressed Trump on whether he believes there should be punishment for abortion if it were illegal
“There has to be some form of punishment,” Trump said. “For the woman?” Matthews asked. “Yeah,” Trump said, nodding.
Trump said the punishment would “have to be determined.”
Immediately people on Twitter responded:
Gotta run out for a bit. Can't wait to see which part of conservatism Trump destroys while I'm out.
— Drew McCoy (@_Drew_McCoy_) March 30, 2016
The notion that pro-lifers want to arrest vulnerable women makes it harder to advance pro-life policies politically. https://t.co/4MWk1o7xTZ
— Matt Lewis (@mattklewis) March 30, 2016
"Let's punish people who have abortions" is the kind of thing someone who is pretending to be super pro-life would say.
— Noah Rothman (@NoahCRothman) March 30, 2016
I totally agree that the abortion doctor is the one committing murder and should be charged with murder. But I don’t completely disagree with Trump either.
If we as pro-lifers believe that a baby is a human being and should be protected accordingly, then I think there must be a penalty for a woman who knowingly contracts out the murder of her baby.
That doesn’t mean she should serve 10 years in prison. No, indeed I think the onus of the penalty should fall on the abortion doctor. But shouldn’t there be at least a steep fine or some type of disincentive?
Of course there would be all kinds of exceptions that would come into play, especially when it comes to rape and other violent crimes that propel a situation like this. But to suggest that a woman who knowingly does this should walk away scot-free is something I just can’t agree with.
The bottom line is this. I don’t believe Trump has thought these issues through and he’s just saying stuff. But his sentiment on this, whether he means it or not, is something I can at least partially agree with, as I’ve expressed.