All Hell Breaks Loose After Trump Says Women Should Be "Punished" For Illegal Abortions

Tyler Durden's picture

Just yesterday, we discussed Donald Trump’s “women problems.”

Although one might fairly question the methodology behind the polls and whether the questions were designed to elicit a certain type of response, it is worth noting that in three separate surveys (NBC, WSJ, and CNN), Trump’s favorability rating with female voters was 27% or less.

Even if one assumes that the polls were inherently biased, there’s probably some truth to the contention that the things Trump has said about women in the past haven’t done anything to help him when it comes to garnering a large percentage of the female vote and may indeed come back to haunt him in a national contest with Hillary Clinton.

Well on Wednesday, in an MSNBC town hall event, Trump was cornered by host Chris Matthews who asked the GOP frontrunner about his position on illegal abortion.

Below, you can find the highlights as compiled by Bloomberg.

  • Host Chris Matthews presses Trump on 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 answers
    • “How about you?” Matthews asks
    • “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 says
    • “I’m asking you,” Matthews says
    • “I am pro-life,” Trump says
    • “How do you actually ban abortion?” Matthews asks
    • “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 says
  • Matthews then presses Trump on if he believes there should be punishment for abortion if it were illegal
    • “There has to be some form of punishment,” Trump says
    • “For the woman?” Matthews says; “Yeah,” Trump says, nodding
    • Trump says punishment would “have to be determined”
    • “They’ve set the law and frankly the judges, you’re going to have a very big election coming up for that reason because you have judges where it’s a real tipping point and with the loss of Scalia, who was a very strong conservative, this presidential election is going to be very important,” Trump says
    • “When you say what’s the law, nobody knows what the law is going to be. It depends on who gets elected,” Trump says

Obviously, this was "gotcha" journalism on Matthews' part (once he established that he was referring to illegal abortions he knew he could pin Trump between having to either say women should be punished or that women could break the law with impunity), and as we saw last year with the whole Kurds/Quds Hugh Hewitt debacle, Trump is susceptible to badgering. The other problem here is that it isn't clear that Trump truly believes some of the things he's forced to say as a Republican candidate, which leads to exchanges like that recounted above. "Don't overthink it: Trump doesn't understand the pro-life position because he's not pro-life," a Cruz aid tweeted. Here's Politico with a bit of context:

Trump’s policy idea is a departure from most state abortion restrictions, which don’t impose penalties on the women who get abortions. Typically, any penalties are imposed on the physician who does the procedure.


The anti-abortion movement in recent decades has shied away from the perception that it is “punishing” women for getting abortions. Instead, it has focused on penalties for the physicians who provide them, such as imposing medical or legal restrictions on their practice. In some rare situations, women have faced charges associated with abortions they have attempted on their own.

Having realized this had become a PR fiasco, Trump promptly walked back his comments.

This is a statement released just moments ago, in which the billionaire revises his initial comments, calling the women "victims", and stating it is doctors who should be held legally responsible for performing the illegal act:

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 legally responsible, not the woman. The woman is a victim in this case as is the life in her womb. My position has not changed - like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions.

But by the time the Trump campaign released that statement it was far too late. The media, women's rights groups, pro-abortion groups, as well as all of Trump's political opponents smelled blood. 

"The last person women need to police their health care decisions is someone who sees them not as people, but as ‘fat pigs,’ ‘bimbos’ and ‘disgusting animals,’" Marcy Stech, a spokeswoman for Emily's List, a pro-abortion-rights group said.

Here's the reaction from March for Life:

And from Bernie Sanders:

And here's the Cruz campaign calling Trump a "charlatan":

Expect this soundbite to play on a loop should Trump end up squaring off against Clinton this fall. Speaking of whom:

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california chrome's picture

Didn't matter what the subject was: 2nd Amendment, defeating Isis, increasing jobs, increasing military, building a wall, abortion -- once Trump said "women should be punished", it was off to a brokered/contested convention, and there Trump will lose! Just like taking a bad trade, you don't think before you act.

Kefeer's picture

I did not take that to mean he would violate current laws and just randomly punish offenders against current laws.  However, a foolish woman or man would and there are many fools. 

Trumps goal would be to change the law to ban abortion and the best way to do that is allow the states to decide as they have on so many other issues only to be turned over by judicial legislation.

In general, all I can say is that God is so right about what He says about our nature and it should scare all who do not fear the One that will judge them based on perfect moral standards.

Savvy's picture

All men who disagree with abortion, keep your prick in your pants! Or Mrs Palm and her five daughters. Problem solved.

bookofenoch's picture

Women are not special snowflakes.  Women should not be excused from punsihment from violating a criminal law simply because she's a woman.  If women don't like the law, change it.  But in the meanwhile, expect to be criminally sanctioned just like a guy.


The root of the illegal abortion question is:  do chicks get a free pass for violating the law because of their vagina, or do women get equally puished under the law?

Trump got it right again:  equal application of the law.  I'm sorry he flip flopped later.


sam site's picture

Hey!  Trump thinks Snowdon is a traitor and should be tried.  He's a severe disciplinarian - so what.  If someone technically breaks the law they are liable to be punished in both cases. 

Women that are liable to be punished by hypothetically getting unlawful abortions or whistleblowers like Snowdon technically and unlawfully revealing classified information.

Let's not lose sight of the important issues here and not get caught up in stupid dragnet laws and hypotheticals. 

Trump has the potential to finally rid America of the callous, devious, murderous, scourge known as the Globalists that have been completely controlling and ruining our world.

Sandmann's picture

Snowdon is the highest mountain in Wales. Snowden is a US Hero residing in Russia

conscious being's picture

Wrong, wrong, misinformation, disinfo, wrong. Trump is fronting for the Globalists. Go watch his AIPAC speech 3-21-16. It's on YouTube and educate yourself.

"Trump has the potential to finally rid America of the callous, devious, murderous, scourge known as the Globalists that have been completely controlling and ruining our world."

Abaco's picture

Trump just further flushed Cruz out for the phony he is. Along with many of the pro-life castrati that are afraid to punish murder - even with community service.  Why fear the loop of this playing when you can play the loop of Hillary laughing at Gadaffi being sodomized to death with a bayonet and pictures of the hundreds of thousands of dead women and children in Libyya, Syria, etc. as well as the women being raped in Europe as the refugees from her disastrous reign as SOS flood into Europe to destroy it. Pro-lifers and conservatives continue to lose becuas they live in fear of what the other side may say.

The only reason abortion should be illegal is because it is the taking of innocent life. True, m,any women find themselves in very difficult circumstances (mitigating factor) and sometimes feel that abortion is their only way out. They should be met with sympathy and support. You don't address their circumstanceas by pretending murder isn't murder. 

The entire reason for the culture of chivalry was the recognition of the special gift that women have and the burden that comes with that gift. Feminists attcked that and tore down the suport structure for women and the only thing they offer in respons to the devastation they cause is to ask for a free pass for murder. Pro-lifers who are too timid to say that murder should be punished should just shut up and admit that they, too, think murder is acceptable as long as you have a good reason for commiting it.



Sandmann's picture

Americans should not be allowed to vote in elections, or if they do Mass Media should be banned as should Polling.

This is absurd, a nation of 300 million owing $80 Trillion causing mayhem and destruction across Africa, Middle East and Europe; and the Media try constantly to intefere in elections and INSTRUCT people how to vote. It is intolerable. There is NO SUCH THING as "Women Voters" - they have no more validity as a voting block than "Japanese Voters". There is no unanimity of views, they don't even buy the same deodorant or sanitary towels

A is A's picture

Can somebody read Roe v. Wade to our ever so terrifically awesome GOP front-runner? This guy cannot be the GOP nominee.

Golden Phoenix's picture

People don't seem to understand what 'illegal' means anymore. 'Illegal' abortions should be punished. Lawful ones should not. Similarly 'illegal' aliens should be deported. Lawful aliens should not. If Trump is wrong and women who get illegal abortions should not be punished then if someone aborted a baby in the ninth month of gestation it'd be fine and dandy. Is there really anyone, even on the prolife side, who believes any abortion whatsoever should be legal up to the point of delivery?

falak pema's picture

Reductio ad absurdum :

What quacks like a duck, what walks like a duck must be a Donald.

Here is what the ex-military think of the Duck : he is a TV reality show clown who wants to be King of Rome.

conscious being's picture

The Guardian? You must be out of your mind.

vesna's picture

Guys listen to what women say

Bobportlandor's picture

What I would do is, come out and shame the democrats for their lust for chopping up defenseless babies.

Pointing out they have fashioned this country  into a soulless rudderless and gutless for which it stands nation.


LoveTruth's picture

If women break the law why shouldn't they be punished? 

What if you are the father, and your wife or girlfriend decides to kill your unborn kid, and you know 100% it would be absolutely wrong?

A lot of women commit this horrible crime killing their babies. It is a plain out murder.


RedDwarf's picture

LOL, Trump is just being consistent.  If you're going to be pro-life and abortion is illegal, then OF COURSE there has to be repurcussions for the woman.  A law without punishments is a suggestion, not a law.  If you only punish the doctors and not the women then you have selective, discriminatory, and unfairl application of the law, and that is wrong as well.

The reason the Pro-Lifers don't push punishing women is becuase if they do they lose the fight, Pro-Choice will carry the day.  So they embrace this hypocritical stand that it's wrong to punish women for violating any abortion laws that do or might exist.  I laugh at Cruz's statements that it shows Trump does not understand the Pro-Life position.  You're right Cruz, he doesn't, becuase he's not embracing the hypocrisy you guys chose as a tactic for winning the political fight as opposed to being morally and logically consistent.  Trump has not been indoctrinated into the hypocritical double-think that you guys have.

theprofromdover's picture

Quite a lot things Trump says, resonates with lots of different people.

People don't like the bluntness, but they are getting used to someone in politics speaking their mind, right or wrong.

I suspect many men, many older people, and quite a percentage of women would say they were pro-life, and ashamed of a culture that can kill 'gonna-be-viable' babies because the pregnancy is generally inconvenient. They just won't come out and say so, because of the feminist rage.

Trump was on the Tonite Show a while back. I bet if you had asked Jimmy Fallon that question, he would have fumbled around with a non-answer. I bet if you asked a whole load of right-on broadcasters the question, very few of them would unequivocally support the woman's sole right to choose.

Barley Burnside's picture

Start paying these women to carry the baby until full term, the people who adopt the child repay the money given to the birth mother. The birth mother gets some cash and an enormous butt and big boobs, "So, like, i look like one of the Kardashians now, OMG!!"