Thursday, March 31, 2016

Trump - Women having Abortions must be Punished - Then Backtracks

Trump says punish women for illegal abortions, then back-tracks

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks to guests during a campaign rally at St. Norbert CollegeImage copyrightGetty Images
Image captionMr Trump is very unpopular among female voters

US presidential hopeful Donald Trump has withdrawn a call for women who have abortions to be punished, only hours after suggesting it.
He had proposed "some form of punishment" for women who have abortions if they were made illegal.
But after strong criticism, Mr Trump repeated the Republican party line that only the person performing the abortion should be punished, not the women.
The Republican front-runner supports a ban on abortions, with some exceptions.
Abortion has been legal in the United States since 1973 after a landmark Supreme Court ruling.
Only the Supreme Court or a constitutional amendment has the power to overturnRoe v Wade and make abortion illegal.

Analysis: Anthony Zurcher, BBC News North America reporter

The Republican party's official position is that abortion should be illegal. Conservative politicians and anti-abortion activists who view abortion as akin to murder, however, tend to avoid outlining any criminal punishment for women who undergo the procedure, instead targeting the doctors responsible.
The reason for this is simple - to make abortion bans more acceptable to a general public that does not want to see possibly distraught women grappling with unwanted pregnancies sent to prison.
Donald Trump, as he is wont to do, just trampled through this carefully constructed conservative political dance with all the grace of a rhinoceros at a tea party. Thanks to his assertion, after prodding, that women should face "some form of punishment" for having an illegal abortion, the conservative pro-life movement is going to be forced to defend their beliefs on uncomfortable ground. Republican candidates will be asked, again and again, to defend or denounce Mr Trump's comments.
This is exactly the kind of scenario that terrifies Republican politicians about Mr Trump as their party's nominee. His ill-considered remarks and shoot-from-the-hip approach to media interviews could be a political minefield for their candidates in the autumn.
In all likelihood it's just a taste of things to come.

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