'Some form of punishment' Hmmm, perhaps spending an hour of 'intellectual' time with you would be sufficient?
The GOP presidential front-runner's mad scramble began a little after he told MSNBC's Chris Matthews that abortion, if outlawed, should carry "some form of punishment."
Several hours later -- after widespread condemnation from Trump's presidential rivals and even leading anti-abortion groups -- he walked back his remarks, releasing a statement in which he said that women who obtain abortions are victims and that doctors who perform the service are the ones who should be punished.
The backlash was fast, angry and bipartisan, and I happen to agree with them:
Dawn Laguens from the Planned Parenthood Action Fund called Trump "flat-out dangerous," while Bernie Sanders ("Shameful") and Hillary Clinton ("Horrific and telling") tweeted their condemnations.
On the GOP side, John Kasich and Ted Cruz, who both favor
'This issue is unclear'
Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks sent in a statement from Trump to reporters: "This issue is unclear and should be put back into the States for determination. Like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions, which I have outlined numerous times."
'The woman is a victim'
By a little before 5 p.m., Trump released another explanation -- marking an almost complete about-face. "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," Trump said in a statement.
"The woman is a victim in this case as is the life in her womb," Trump said. "My position has not changed -- like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions."