Once again, Donald Trump has backtracked on his words and the Republican presidential front-runner has now changed his stance on abortion. Trump said Friday that abortion laws in the country are set at the moment, but he also reiterated that he considers that this practice is “murder.” The comments were made during a taping for CBS’s Face the Nation. As reported by the New York Times, Trump made the remarks shortly after he suggested that women who have abortions should be punished.
“At this moment the laws are set. And I think we have to leave it that way,” Trump said in an interview with CBS’s John Dickerson to be broadcast in full on Sunday. “I think it would’ve been better if it were up to the states. But right now, the laws are set.”
Trump has been criticized by supporters and opponents of abortion rights for not showing a clear position on this issue. Many Republicans strongly oppose abortion, four decades after it was legalized by the Supreme Court at the national level. Hours after the interview was aired, Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks gave the following statement to The Guardian.
“Mr. Trump gave an accurate account of the law as it is today and made clear it must stay that way now – until he is president. Then he will change the law through his judicial appointments and allow the states to protect the unborn. There is nothing new or different here.”
Long ago, Trump, who went from the Democrat and independent to the Republican ranks, was an advocate of abortion rights, but now it seems he has changed his views during his presidential bid. According to the Washington Post, Trump has taken five different positions on abortion in just three days.
Donald Trump says "the laws are set" on abortion. Does his latest remarks silence critics or raise more questions? https://t.co/x8eZEY3PFm
— Anderson Cooper 360° (@AC360) April 2, 2016
At some point between 1999 and 2011, Trump’s position on abortion changed. He explained the reason for his switch during the first debate of 2015.
“What happened is friends of mine years ago were going to have a child, and it was going to be aborted,” Trump said. “And it wasn’t aborted. And that child today is a total superstar, a great, great child. And I saw that. And I saw other instances.”
As mentioned above, on the afternoon of March 30 in an interview with journalist Chris Matthews from MSNBC, the presidential candidate for the Republican Party said that women who have an abortion once the procedure is illegal should be punished. However, an hour later the same day, one of his spokesmen circulated a statement in which Trump’s campaign rejected his idea that a woman should face repercussions for undergoing an illegal abortion.
“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. “The woman is a victim in this case as is the life in her womb.”
Ilyse Hogue, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America, condemned Trump’s statements and she released the following statement regarding the matter.
“Not only is this an unhinged position far from where the American people are, but it is sure to endanger women were he to become president,” Hogue was quoted as saying. “The worldview Donald Trump promotes is one where women should be shamed and blamed for their decisions.”
Meanwhile, Donald Trump suggested Saturday that the controversial interview he gave about abortion was edited out of context and he alleges CBS “took words out that I said.”
“They can take something you say and turn it around. Like I will be on CBS’s ‘Face the Nation.’ What I said was perfect,” Trump explained, adding, “What I said was so good. It was so perfect. And they looked and said, ‘Oh, maybe he should have added a word.'”
— Ali Vitali (@alivitali) March 30, 2016
[Image via Scott Olson/Getty Images News]