Trump sounds off on abortion; criticism comes from all sides

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Donald Trump’s suggestion that women who get abortions should face “some form of punishment” if the practice is banned is giving the #NeverTrump movement new urgency.US Republican candidate Donald Trump’s initial comments made during a town hall event with cable network sparked a wave of criticism.Trump quickly reserved his position, releasing a statement saying that if abortion were to be banned, “the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman”.Trump’s remarks were assailed by abortion-rights supporters, but they also unsettled anti-abortion activists who said the comments clash with efforts to show empathy with women contemplating whether to have the procedure.Only the Supreme Court or a constitutional amendment has the power to overturn and make abortion illegal.March For Life, a group that opposes abortion rights, said Trump’s statement was “completely out of touch with the pro-life movement and even more with women who have chosen such a sad thing as abortion”. “Like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions”.’I’m not going to take it off the table, ‘ Trump said. The woman is a victim in this case as is the life in her womb.Throughout the 2016 campaign, Mr Trump has reiterated his stance against abortion, and has expressed his desire to defund the public health nonprofit, Planned Parenthood.”I drove him out of the race”, Trump said of Walker, who abandoned his presidential bid last autumn. Abortion opponents have pushed for punishment for doctors who perform abortions, but not women who receive them.Ted Cruz said, “Once again Donald Trump has demonstrated that he has not seriously thought through the issues, and he will say anything just to get attention”.U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire’s top elected Republican, says women should not be punished for seeking out an abortion if it were banned.The 69-year-old Trump, who during his political life has been a Democrat and an independent and is only a recent convert to the “pro-life” anti-abortion position, has been accused in the past of flip-flopping on the hot-button issue. Matthews asked Trump whether he believes abortion should be outlawed.”Not only is this an unhinged position far from where the American people are, but it is sure to endanger women were he to become president, ” the group said in a written statement. “But let us be clear: punishment is exclusively for the abortionist who profits off of the destruction of one life and the grave wounding of another”.Cruz, who has aired ads showing Trump in a 1999 interview declaring himself “pro-choice”, said Trump’s comments were “wrong” and that it showed the billionaire isn’t up to the task to lead.