On Wednesday, during an MSNBC town hall interview with Chris Matthews, Republican presidential hopeful Donald Trump said that he thinks women should be punished for having abortions. Yes, really. He later backpedaled on the statement and said that he would only punish the doctors who perform abortions. But reactions to Trump's abortion comments were swift and nearly universally negative. Even anti-abortion groups and politicians won't back him up.
After Trump stated that he's in favor of a ban on abortions, Matthews asked him if he believed in punishing women who had abortions. Trump initially tried skirting the issue or changing the subject – a tacctic he's been known to employ in the past when asked hard questions – but Matthews wouldnt relent. Trump finally conceded that "there has to be some form of punishment," but refused to answer when pressed for what type of punishment he felt was appropriate.
Within hours of Trump's remarks, Marjorie Dannenfelser, president of the anti-abortion group the Susan B. Anthony List released a statement condemning him: "We have never advocated, in any context, for the punishment of women who undergo abortion." The group's position is that the doctor (or "abortionist," as they phrase it) should be punished for what they call a "grave wounding" of a woman, which is grossly offensive, but hey, at least they're not on Team Trump. And it seems that, on this issue, nobody is.
Former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton was right on top of it, tweeting just minutes afterwards that his comments were "horrific and telling." She's been like a dog with a bone ever since:
Honestly, I could fill this article with nothing but Clinton's tweets, but that's not fair, so I'll just add one more, which was actually a retweet of a supporter:
Calling Trump out and shading that ugly hat at the same time? Brilliant. That evening, both Clinton and Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders appeared on MSNBC, where they spoke to Rachael Maddow about Trump's remarks. Clinton called them "outrageous and dangerous" and Sanders called them "shameful."
On the other side of the aisle, Trump's Republican opponent Texas Sen. Ted Cruz released a statement saying that Trump "hasn’t seriously thought through the issues, and he’ll say anything just to get attention." And Ohio Gov. John Kasich, fresh off of his improper pizza eating scandal, tweeted his own statement on Thursday morning saying that "Trump is not prepared to be president," and followed that up by telling Good Morning America's Robin Roberts, "You know what it is, with Donald? It's just a stream of consciousness," which makes me love him just a tiny bit (not really).
Then we have Jeanne Mancini, president of the anti-abortion group March for Life who said that Trump is “completely out of touch with the pro-life movement," versus Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, whose statement – in its entirety – reads: "Donald Trump is flat-out dangerous. Women’s lives are not disposable. There’s nothing else to say, as Donald Trump’s remarks today have said it all." Yo, Dawn, are you busy tonight? because I would really like to buy you a drink or a pizza if that's OK.
But enough about these fancy, suit-wearing types. Let's see what the celebs are saying!
This one actually took three tweets to complete; the rest of it reads: "...screaming clinic protesters you have to run, the unpaid time off work, the expense and the never-ending patronizing, insulting, infantilizing public debate about YOUR BODY isn't punishment enough." He makes a pretty fantastic point, no?
Could this be true? Patton Oswalt is a national treasure and is usually right about most things. If he's right about this thing, that would be great.