March 30, 2016
Donald Trump Flip-Flops On Abortion... Again

Donald Trump has been forced to "clarify" his stance on abortion following a plethora of criticism. On Wednesday, Trump told the world that he believes that women who obtain abortions should be punished, reports CNN. Not surprisingly, his words prompted a firestorm of negative responses and criticism.

Several hours later, Donald Trump seemed to utterly flip-flop his opinion on abortion, saying that women who choose to abort are "victims" and that Congress, when considering laws prohibiting elective (or necessary) abortion, should focus on punishing doctors and healthcare providers who facilitate the procedure rather than punishing women.

"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 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."
The "clarification" came after a long Q&A with MSNBC's Chris Matthews, who reportedly pressured the former reality TV star to clarify his stance on the issue, ultimately backing Donald Trump into a corner and forcing a "yes or no answer" from Trump. The question? "Should abortion be punished?"

Donald Trump Chris Matthews
[Photo by Tom Lynn/Getty Images]This isn't the first time Donald Trump has pulled a flip-flop on the issue of abortion rights. Once upon a time, before pursuing a career in politics, Donald Trump supported abortion rights. Now, the GOP front-runner and presumed presidential nominee from the right calls abortion "a very serious problem." Going on to clarify his political opinion, Trump added that "there has to be some form of punishment [for abortion]" during a town hall scheduled to air on MSNBC on Wednesday night.

Despite calling for punishment for those who choose abortion (legal in the U.S. since Roe v. Wade in the 1970's), Donald Trump refused to clarify how he believed abortion-seeking women should be punished for terminating unwanted pregnancies.

Trump did concede that if abortion were made illegal in the U.S., some women would undoubtedly seek out illegal abortions nonetheless. He didn't seem to have much sympathy for the hypothetical women who may choose to abort in violation of the law.

"Well, you go back to a position like they had where they would perhaps go to illegal places, but we have to ban it."
On Wednesday, Donald Trump officially flip-flopped. Through a statement that was released by one of his campaign spokespersons, Hope Hicks, The Donald said that "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."
"I am pro-life with exceptions."
Trump Protest Wisconsin
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]This second flip-flop is a stark contrast to his 1999 stance on abortion, when Donald Trump called himself "pro-choice in every respect."

Of course, that was prior to pursuing a career in politics.

During a January news conference in Iowa, Donald Trump refused to answer a question relating to what punishment(s) he believed abortion-obtaining women should face if caught.

"I just don't want to talk about that right now. Everybody knows my views and I think my views are very plain."
Maybe not, Mr. Trump.

Donald Trump Talks Wisconsin
[Photo by Darren Hauck/Getty Images]Indeed, Donald Trump's flip-flopping stance on abortion is under the microscope at a very inopportune time for the real estate mogul-turned U.S. presidential candidate. Donald Trump's words, campaign, and political stances have been increasingly scrutinized regarding how they pertain to women. Donald Trump has been labeled a "misogynist" for much of his campaign, largely due to his treatment of/feud with Fox News' Megyn Kelly, as well as his sexist words pertaining women in general and even his (once) political rival Carly Fiorina. Not to mention his recent, totally unprovoked attack against his rival Ted Cruz's wife.

Donald Trump isn't the only member of the Trump campaign who has come under fire recently for his treatment of women. Just this week, Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski was charged with battery after grabbing a female reporter's arm at a news conference in Florida in early March.

Donald Trump has been called upon by 16 female conservatives to fire his campaign manager, but, to date, Trump has stood behind Lewandowski, responding to questions about the charges with reiterations that his treatment of women in general is acceptable.

"Nobody's a bigger supporter of women than Donald Trump."
Trump has also supported Planned Parenthood, despite his political rival's public opposition to the family planning non-profit following unfounded allegations of illegal fetal tissue sales. According to Donald Trump, Planned Parenthood should stop providing abortions if it wants to continue to receive federal funding.

[Image Courtesy Of Scott Olson/Getty Images]