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Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Trump advocates abortion ban, walks back 'punishment' for women remark | MSNBC

GREEN BAY, Wisconsin — After saying on Wednesday that he believes there should be punishment for women who undergo abortions if the procedure was outlawed, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump walked back the comment hours later.

In an exclusive interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, the GOP front-runner described himself multiple times as “pro-life” but struggled to define what the legal ramifications of that position should be. When continually pressed for what the answer is regarding punishing women who would break any theoretical ban, Trump said the “answer is that there has to be some form of punishment, yeah.”

Later in the day, his campaign released a statement refocusing who would be punished should abortion become illegal. “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 statement said. “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.”

When asked during the MSNBC town hall what kind of punishment he had in mind, Trump lacked specifics at the time and said he has “not determined what the punishment would be.” Trump noted that he does “take positions on everything else but this is a very complicated position.”

“If you say abortion is a crime or abortion is murder, you have to deal with it under the law,” Matthews stated, making the pivot from the moral position of being pro-life to the practical implications of implementing that position in the law.

Trump asked Matthews, “Are you going to say, well wait, are you going to say put them in jail? Is that the punishment you’re talking about?”

Trump advocates abortion ban, walks back 'punishment' for women remark | MSNBC

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