The anti-choice industry is furious with Donald Trump's comments on MSNBC yesterday that women deserve "some sort of punishment" for getting abortions once the procedure is criminalized by the GOP.
After saying on Wednesday that he believes there should be punishment for women who undergo abortions if the procedure was outlawed, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump walked back the comment hours later.
In an exclusive interview with MSNBC's Chris Matthews, the GOP front-runner described himself multiple times as "pro-life" but struggled to define what the legal ramifications of that position should be. When continually pressed for what the answer is regarding punishing women who would break any theoretical ban, Trump said the "answer is that there has to be some form of punishment, yeah."
Later in the day, his campaign released a statement refocusing who would be punished should abortion become illegal. "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," the statement said. "The woman is a victim in this case as is the life in her womb. My position has not changed — like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions."
But the damage has been done, and Trump has given away the endgame of the anti-choice people. Of course the goal is to punish women for seeking abortion, and it always has been. Red states make trying to get an abortion as crushing and as difficult as possible to restrict access to it while the anti-choice advocates sadly cluck their tongues and say women and the unborn have to be helped. Actually providing that help doesn't happen, these "loose hussies" are on their own unless they repent and the nation's churches take pity on them, for surely child and family services are being dismantled across the country by Republicans seeking to trap women in squalor.
Trump coming along and reminding everyone that the real goal has always been to criminalize abortion and women having sex for anything other than procreation blows a hole in the whole facade, and the anti-choice forces know it. You can't say you're worried about protecting the mother and unborn child if you're willing to admit the goal is to have women so scared of going to prison over miscarriages that they are afraid to have sex. The tacit understanding is that only those women get punished for wanting an abortion, the rest quietly have the procedure because they're "responsible people" who don't abuse the "availability" of it. The notion that all women get punished, that there's not exceptions made for the right women to have one, well that gives away the game.
If it was somehow possible before for Trump to get zero percent of the women's vote in 2016, it's even more possible now. Trump has single-handedly destroyed the Republican defense of "we're not leading a War on Women!"
And they're furious at him for it for good reason.
We’re now at the point in the nominating process where it is, er, crystal clear that Hillary Clinton will end up being the Democratic candidate, and Donald Trump, while not at all the certain winner, is the leading candidate to become the Republican nominee. So it’s time to adjust our 2016 electoral map for the first time since we rolled out our initial ratings last May. That map, shown below as Map 1, reflected a generic Democrat versus Republican matchup, and it depicted a close, competitive general election.
The new map, as you will see, does not show a close and competitive general election. The Republicans now find themselves in a deep hole.
Imagine Trump screwing up so badly that Clinton actually outperforms either of Obama's presidential wins. Not hard to imagine if he keeps giving the game away like this. After all, he's now unpopular even with a majority of white men.
Trump is going to wreck the party before he's done. Get the popcorn and watch it burn.