Donald Trump: 'Women Should Be Punished' For Having Abortions

Jayce Wagner

During a campaign appearance in Wisconsin today, Donald Trump came out hard against abortion – stating unequivocally that women should be "punished" for getting abortions, but the men responsible for those unwanted pregnancies should not be punished.

"There has to be some form of punishment," Donald Trump said today during an interview with MSNBC.

Donald Trump's pro-life stance hasn't come up much in this campaign, but twice today, Trump's statements have addressed the issue directly – once during a pre-taped interview with MSNBC's Chris Matthews, and once during a campaign stop in Wisconsin when he addressed the crowd. Donald Trump said he's not sure what punishment women should suffer, but he does support "some kind" of punishment for women who have abortions.

"The issue is unclear and should be put back into the states for determination," Trump said in the statement.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich responded to the Trump comments today blasting the Republican frontrunner's stance on abortion.

"Of course women shouldn't be punished. I think Donald Trump will figure out a way to say that he didn't say that or was misquoted or whatever, [but] I don't think that's an appropriate response," said Kasich, who is pro-life, but supports exceptions in certain cases.

"Should abortion be punished? This is not something you can dodge," said MSNBC's Chris Matthews during an interview today. "If you say 'abortion is a crime' or 'abortion is murder' you have to deal with it under the law, should abortion be punished?"

Donald Trump doubled down on his pro-life stance today, with comments that are unequivocally anti-abortion and suggested that women who receive abortion procedures bear as much of the blame as the doctors who perform the procedures, and should be punished accordingly. When asked by MSNBC's Chris Matthews about whether or not women should be punished, Trump dodged the question, but eventually replied directly.

The Trump campaign has had a rough week when it comes to Trump's stance on women's rights, after affirming his support for Corey Lewandowski, who was charged with battery yesterday, many Trump critics are calling out the candidate's flagging support among Republican women.

The Ted Cruz campaign responded on Twitter, dismissing Trump's comment and stating that Trump isn't pro-life, so he can't be expected to understand a pro-life position. Hillary Clinton responded on Twitter as well, voicing her concerns over the rights women would or wouldn't have under a Trump presidency.

Donald Trump hasn't always been pro-life, reports the Daily Mail, as recently as 1999, Donald Trump was seen in TV interviews referring to himself as "pro-choice," a fact that the Ted Cruz campaign is quick to report to conservative voters who typically don't support abortion rights.

During the Chris Matthews interview today, Donald Trump addressed his stance on abortion, not only by suggesting that women should be punished for having abortions, but also by mentioning that as president, he would appoint judges who supported that position and were similarly anti-abortion.

"You're going to have a very big election coming up for that reason because you have judges where it's a real tipping point and with the loss of Scalia, who was a very strong conservative, this presidential election is going to be very important," Donald Trump told MSNBC after host Chris Matthews asked about his stance on abortion punishment.

[Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images]