Donald Trump‘s stances on major issues tend to ebb and flow. He appears to disregard things he says years or months prior to any given debate or town hall. The cause of this phenomenon isn’t as important as the reality of his popularity, which means his supporters aren’t concerned with consistency. They support the man, not his positions, which makes things a wee bit frightening when it comes to women’s rights. When one considers Trump’s track record with women and his reactions when women require a bodily function, including bathroom breaks or breastfeeding, one can expect his views on abortion to be even more controversial.
For a bit of background, Trump has indeed flip-flopped on this subject. Back in 1999, Trump adopted a pro-choice stance within one of his books. Yet at the recent CBS debate, the frontrunner stopped brawling for a few moments to assert, “As far as Planned Parenthood is concerned, I’m pro-life.” At the next CNN debate, he tried to walk both sides and ended up contradicting himself. There, he paid lip service to how Planned Parenthood does wonderful things for women, but he still wants to defund the organization.
Now, Trump’s taking an extreme viewpoint for an MSNBC town hall that will air on Wednesday night. Trump pretaped his segments, and Bloomberg snagged a transcript. Host Chris Matthews asks whether abortion should be punished and warns Trump not to dodge the question, so this happens:
Trump: “I would say it’s a very serious problem and it’s a problem we have to decide on. Are you going to send them to jail?”
Matthew: “I’m asking you.”
Trump: “I am pro-life.”
Matthews: “How do you actually ban abortion?”
Trump: “Well, you go back to a position like they had where they would perhaps go to illegal places but we have to ban it … There has to be some form of punishment.”
Matthews: “For the woman?”
This talk revolves around a discussion of the Supreme Court and who will replace the late Justice Scalia. Trump hints at a president’s ability to change abortion law, which presumably means he wants the court to overturn the landmark ruling of Roe v. Wade. Does this mean he’d like to appoint a justice who’s even more conservative than Scalia? Because overturning a woman’s fundamental right to an abortion (under the penumbra of privacy laws) won’t be an easy task, and if Scalia couldn’t get the job done, Trump would need to search far for a justice who could do so.
Further examination of the MSNBC transcript reveals how Trump’s not sure what form of punishment he’d prefer for women who get abortions, but he’s certain about one thing. When quizzed over whether men should be held responsible for abortions, Trump replies, “No.”
Ted Cruz is thinking about the women out there, just FYI.
And for those wondering what the opposition thinks, Hillary Clinton fired off this tweet:
Here’s the MSNBC segment that will air during Wednesday night’s town hall.