Donald Trump has backtracked on his comment that women should face “some sort of punishment” for getting abortions if it were illegal, yet his Republican colleagues have not faced the same outrage for insisting that the doctors should be the ones in jail.
Ohio governor John Kasich was asked on CNN about Mr Trump’s remarks and whether voters should take them at “face value”.
“No, I don’t. I don’t think it’s appropriate,” insisted Mr Kasich, who has also previously pledged to end funding of Planned Parenthood, the largest family planning clinic provider in the US.
He was recently interrupted at small rallies by women who called out: “Why do you hate women?” but brushed them off with a joke about being a student in the 1970s, when protests were run of the mill.
The interviewer pressed Mr Kasich: “But you believe that Roe Vs Wade, correct me if I’m wrong, should not be—“
“Yeah, Michael I know,” the governor interrupted. “I’ve told you what I think, it was inappropriate. Period. End of story. Let’s move on.”
The interviewer pushed that if abortion was to be illegal, then surely a punishment would be required for anyone who broke the law.
“Well, look," said Mr Kasich, "the pro-life and pro-choice movement have said that that’s where you look at, you know, clinics or whatever, but you don’t lay this on women. It’s a tough enough situation for them. End of story.”
Mr Trump’s proposal to punish women brought the pro-life and pro-choice movements into unity for a moment as they both condemned his statements.
Yet pro-life groups argued Mr Trump is “new” to the abortion issue and Mr Cruz would be the better candidate to fight against women’s right to choose.
Texas Senator Ted Cruz responded to Mr Trump’s statement: “I am pro-life. Being pro-life means standing and defending the unborn. But it also means defending moms. Defending women. And defending the incredible gift women have to bring life into the world. And Donald's comments, they were unfortunate, they were wrong and I strongly disagree with it."
So far the focus against abortion has mostly focused on clinics, imposing higher and costly hurdles on providers to make them more like surgical centers to carry out “safe” abortions – even though most women receiving the procedure are given a pill and a glass of water.
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