Trump’s Abortion Comment

Trump’s response to Chris Matthews in an MSNBC Town Hall is well known by now:

Trump clearly didn’t have a response ready for this question and was thinking on his feet. His immediate instinct though was that women are doing something illegal and need to be punished. Although it’s not in the clip, and most media outlets haven’t even mentioned it, he thinks the man involved doesn’t deserve punishment.

There was an immediate slew of criticism. Trump, with one short sentence, managed to offend both the pro- and anti-choice advocates. All of the others still in the running to be their party’s nominee attacked Trump’s comment.

Within a couple of hours, the Trump campaign had released a statement backing away from the comment and denied he’d even made it in some interviews the same day.

Trump on abortion

I love (sarcasm alert!) that last sentence:

My position has not changed – like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions.

As I said above, he’s effectively denying he even made the statement, plus he’s aligning himself with Saint Ronald for added effect. In the latest CNN/ORC poll, Trump has a 73% unfavourable rating with women, and that was before this latest incident. His unfavourable rating was already getting worse with women – in the same poll in late February it was 67% and in December it was 59%. As I’ve posted before, if Trump is the GOP nominee, his ratings with women will scuttle him.

Apart from the obvious anti independent women attitude Trump displayed, his response displays his lack of readiness to be president. Any presidential candidate, particularly a Republican one, should know that they are going to be questioned about social issues. This is not an hypothetical either –  banning abortion is part of his policy platform, so what would happen if he achieves his wish is something he should have thought about.

Trump clearly hadn’t thought about what he would do. He seems to have just taken his policy position because he thinks that’s what would appeal to the voters he’s trying to attract. As he was thinking out loud he said:

Well, people in certain parts of the Republican party and conservative Republicans would say, “Yes [women should be prosecuted].”

That’s actually not what the anti-choice movement says. What they want is for women to be required to carry their foetus to term then either care for their baby themselves or for it to be adopted out. They do not advocate criminal prosecution of women who have abortions.

However, I do have a problem with the way this issue is being talked about on places like Fox News, and by organisations like Family First.

Firstly, there are some who insist that this is irrelevant because abortion will never be made illegal in the US. This is completely disingenuous. Almost all GOP candidates throughout the country include making abortion illegal (except for rape, incest, and the life of the mother) in their policy platforms. Therefore this is legislation that will presumably be put forward if they are elected and, given that the GOP currently holds both the House and Senate, could pass.

Anti AbortionSecondly, they insist that they do not want women who have abortions if it becomes illegal to be prosecuted. While it is true, it is also disingenuous. Almost all anti-choice organisations want abortion to be illegal because of their religious views. Women who have abortions are sinners, and are sinners of the worst kind. Within Roman Catholicism, for example, abortion is an excommunicable offence.

If you think I’m exaggerating about the way women are treated in this circumstance, read this. It’s about a Catholic women who got pregnant because her Catholic employer refused to cover the cost of contraception so she and her husband relied on the Rhythm Method instead. It failed and she questioned her faith on-line after giving birth to a disabled child. The abuse heaped on her by her fellow-religionists was appalling.

This year, Roman Catholic women get a special dispensation, because it’s a Jubilee Year, and the pope said so, and the morality of the Catholic Church has always been very elastic and depended on things like who you are, and how much money you have. If you’re a priest, for example, abusing children is okay. Or if you’re a Mafia boss, a big enough donation can get you forgiven anything. Make sure you have your abortion before 20 November though, because that’s when the current Jubilee Year finishes, and once again you’ll be kicked out of the Church if you have an abortion.

So while women who have abortions would not be prosecuted, they would still be treated as second-class citizens by many. Even now when it’s legal, there are extremists in the anti-abortion movement who perpetrate acts of violence against both those who provide abortions and those who seek them out. The National Abortion Federation maintains a database of those cases. This violence has included eleven murders and twenty-six attempted murders since the early 1990s, as well as multiple bombings, arson attacks, acid attacks, stalking incidents, trespass, kidnapping, harassment, and more.

On top of this are the multiple attempts to try to stop abortions by placing restrictions on abortion providers that are playing out in the US courts every day. Just last week a new law in Utah was passed that could literally kill women who attempt to maintain an abortion. This New York Times article shows that since the increased restrictions that have been placed on abortion clinics throughout the United States, exclusively by Republican legislators, there appears to have been an increase in DIY abortions. All the anti-choice movement is achieving is putting the lives of women at risk.

Trump says he respects women.

No-one respects women more than me. Believe me.

I suspect the only time he “respects” women is when Melania plays the dominatrix.


9 Responses to “Trump’s Abortion Comment”

  1. Excellent stuff Heather. I particularly like the little infographic at the end. It is inexcusable for a would-be president to be caught on the hop by a question about one of their own policies – and I would take a fairly dim view of it if they were caught on the hop about one of their rivals’ policies.

  2. Yakaru says:

    It was kinda weird. Trump had obviously prepped himself a bit on that — asking Matthews about his catholicism and his position on abortion, but was obviously not prepped about the issue in general. When in doubt use authoritarian bluster. His whole campaign is like one long Milgram experiment.

    The core of this issue simply to allow the church to get its hands on small children and brainwash them into being paying followers. They don’t care how they do it, they just want those babies. They would trample mothers underfoot if they had to.

    • Yakaru says:

      Here’s Rachel Maddow covering the story that the media should have been covering regarding Trump’s comments: Cruz is more extreme than Trump and lists anti-abortion terrorists and proponents of terrorism among his supporters.

      • Thanks for posting that Yakaru. Rachel Maddow is great, and always has excellent analysis of whatever she takes on.

        Eric Bolling, who did that Fox interview with Trump, has been a Trump apologist from the beginning. It seems there’s nothing Trump can do that Bolling can’t find an excuse for. He has a show on Fox Business called Cashin In. Michelle Fields used to be a contributor. After the incident between her and Trump operative Lewandowski, she lost that job. She says she was told it was because they no longer considered her able to be neutral regarding Trump.

  3. Plingar says:

    Some good news however regarding the women of P.E.I. Canada and their fight for abortion services.

    • Excellent news for PEI. It’s quite shocking that abortions haven’t been available there for so long.

      It really annoys me the way this is often portrayed by opponents as if those who wish the service to be available are hunting down pregnant women in order to force them to have an abortion. They say things like, “I can’t imagine any circumstances in which a woman would choose to have an abortion.” (That was in a letter to the editor of my local newspaper.) If they “… can’t imagine any circumstances …” they’ve lived pretty sheltered lives, and have no idea of the sorts of things some women suffer every day.

  4. Mark R. says:

    Yes, perfect GOP (religious) logic. We don’t want you to have contraception, which will greatly increase your chances of getting pregnant. But if you get pregnant (even if married) we don’t want to allow an abortion. So really the only pathway they want women to have is either abstinence or only engage in procreation copulation. Or in other words, women should only breed. And statistic after statistic shows something that only a religiously-addled brain won’t accept: abstinence has NEVER worked. Or in the worst scenarios, abstinence leads to other abuses which the Catholic priesthood has clearly revealed. Sex isn’t going away people! What’s even more sickening is that the majority of the anti-abortion legislators are men (who take no responsibility for the pregnancy). Though I am aware that some of the most vociferous opponents are (religious) women.

    Pro-lifers (what an oxymoron for this group) are offended by women making a difficult choice and undertaking a constitutionally legal procedure.

    You know what offends me? Women who are forced into a bleach douche abortion, or throwing themselves down stairs, or drinking turpentine or lye or opium or ergot. How about the old back-alley hanger or sewing needle probe abortion? It offends me to my core that the GOP would create an environment that would force countless women to do these horrible things to themselves. And of course, the majority of these women would be poor. Wealthy/well-off women can always fly to a place that has legal abortion. Before Roe v. Wade, it was quite common that the rich USians would fly to Puerto Rico for the procedure.

    Lastly, (I’m putting on my Jonathan Swift sardonic hat) if abortion is illegal and a punishable crime, would it be considered 1st degree murder? That’s really where the logic leads. And what about the 15-25% of recognized pregnancies that end in miscarriages. (Though as many as 50% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage- most often before a woman misses a menstrual cycle or knows she’s pregnant.) Logic follows that recognized pregnancies that end in miscarriage could be considered manslaughter. Especially for women who are prone to miscarriages and keep trying for a successful pregnancy. It’s like a child running in front of a car and killed. Not the driver’s fault, nothing could have stopped it, but the driver will still be charged with manslaughter. The prison industrial complex would probably relish the idea.

    Hitchen’s quote can’t be stated enough: “Religion poisons everything”.

    • I agree Mark. The so-called pro-life position is so lacking in compassion that it boggles the mind that they have the cheek to call themselves that. What it’s really about is forcing women into their religion-ordained roles and keeping control of both men and women via sexual taboos. It exemplifies what’s wrong with religion.

      If religion stuck to the nice stuff like kindness, compassion, understanding, treating others as you’d like to be treated yourself etc., most of us wouldn’t have a problem whether or not they incleded belief in some sort of god in that. And, of course, there are believers like that. But too many are too ready with judgement, self-righteousness, requiring others to adopt their beliefs, and worse.

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