Donald Trump opened a can of worms today, then scrambled to put them back in, attempting to clarify his position on abortion and put out a firestorm of criticism after he initially said women who have abortions should be punished.
A few hours later, he said in a statement that women who obtain abortions are victims and, if Congress passes laws outlawing abortion, doctors who provide them should be punished.
“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.”
The statement came after MSNBC’s Chris Matthews had earlier pressed Trump to give a yes or no answer to the question, “should abortion be punished.”
But therein lies the rub.
The most vocal anti-choice activists scream, “ABORTION IS MURDER!” but when asked what the punishment should be for women who’ve had them, they demur. If they REALLY believe abortion is murder, then the punishment should be death or life in prison.
And now Trump is trying to have it both ways, too. Now he says only doctors should be punished, but not the women who sought out and paid the doctors to perform abortions.
It makes no sense, just like nothing else makes sense on the anti-choice side.