Donald Trump’s comments on Wednesday that there would “have to be some form of punishment” for women who have abortions, has NARAL Pro-Choice America, the oldest abortion rights advocacy group in the country, fuming.
“His statement is horrifying,” NARAL’s national communications director, Kaylie Hanson told TheWrap. “It’s going to take some serious political gymnastics for Donald Trump to try and explain the comments he made to Chris Matthews.”
During a taping of an MSNBC town hall, which airs Wednesday night, host Chris Matthews pressed Trump on his anti-abortion position, asking him whether abortion should be punished if it is outlawed.
“There has to be some form of punishment,” Trump answered.
As soon as the taping at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay was over, MSNBC released it to the media, knowing just how newsworthy it was.
The backlash from the media and the political world was so swift, Trump quickly found himself backpedaling. In a statement, Trump tried to clarify his position, saying that, “the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible.”
But that did little to satisfy women’s groups, already on edge when it comes to a possible Trump presidency.
“The way that he talks about this issue is dangerous,” Hanson said. “We know that in places where abortion is restricted, the number of abortions doesn’t go down, but the number of injuries and deaths go up. You can’t outlaw abortion, you can only make it unsafe.”
Trump is already having trouble with women voters. According to a recent CNN poll, a whopping 73 percent of registered female voters in the United States had an unfavorable view of Trump … and that was before his big spat with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz over Cruz’s wife, Heidi.
This, Hanson said, will do little to fix the problem. “Seven in 10 Americans support legal abortion,” she said. “All this does is harm his campaign.”
You can watch Trump’s anti-abortion comments to Matthews below.