Donald Trump Backpedals on Abortion Punishment

GOP frontrunner changes his stance, saying doctors, not women, should be held liable for abortions if they are outlawed

Last Updated: March 30, 2016 @ 3:19 PM

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump, who drew fire on Wednesday for saying that there “has to be some form of punishment” for women who have abortions, has now clarified his remarks.

The Trump campaign released the following statement later that afternoon:

“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 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.”

In other words, if abortions are outlawed, and a doctor performs an abortion, the doctor, rather than the woman who receives it (whom Trump makes clear is “a victim”), should be held legally responsible.

Trump’s original remarks to MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, are scheduled to air in a Town Hall tonight at 8 p.m.