Donald Trump’s abortion views have created a new fire storm of controversy around his campaign for president, with The Guardian claiming that this is his biggest crisis yet.
In an interview with MSNBC’s Chris Matthews on Wednesday, the Republican frontrunner drew a huge outcry for his response to Matthews’ question on the matter.
“Do you believe in punishment for abortion – yes or no – as a principle,” asked Matthews.
“The answer is there has to be some form of punishment,” said Trump.
“For the woman?” Matthews said.
“Yeah, there has to be some form,” Trump replied.
“Ten cents, 10 years, what,” Matthews asked again, pressing.
“That I don’t know,” said Trump.
The reaction against Trump’s abortion views were swift on social media, where he was attacked by the Democratic presidential candidates and Planned Parenthood.
Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse. Horrific and telling. -H https://t.co/Qi8TutsOw9
— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) 30 March 2016
Planned Parenthood went further in its response, accusing Trump of inciting violence against women.
— Planned Parenthood (@PPact) 30 March 2016
Even pro-lifers like fellow Republican candidate John Kasich felt that Trump had gone too far.
— MSNBC (@MSNBC) 30 March 2016
All of the negative attention that Trump has drawn over his statement on abortion lead to a rare instance of him walking back his rhetoric. In a statement, he implied that it should be medical professionals and not abortion patients who are the ones that are 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,” Trump said in a statement.
[MSNBC] [The Guardian] [Reuters]