Hillary Clinton said on Thursday that Donald Trump’s recent comments about abortion were “outrageous” and dismissed his “unconvincing” attempt to walk them back.
In an interview with Henry Blodget, Business Insider’s CEO and editor in chief, Clinton took aim at the Republican presidential frontrunner’s assertion, and quick reversal, over whether there should be “some sort of punishment” for women who get abortions if the US outlawed the practice.
“It was outrageous that he would be advocating for women who exercise their constitutional right and have autonomy over their healthcare decisions would be criminals along with the doctors that served them,” Clinton said during an interview at SUNY Purchase College in New York. “He did try to walk it back — I think pretty unconvincingly.”
Clinton, the Democratic presidential frontrunner, said that Trump also revealed what many Republican lawmakers and candidates believe. She cited efforts by GOP governors and state legislatures to curb access to abortion.
“What’s important here is that all the Republicans agree with him. They all want to see women’s rights eroded and for abortion to become illegal again,” she said. “That’s why so many state Republican governors and legislators are defunding Planned Parenthood and shutting down clinics that not only provide a safe abortion, but HIV testing, cancer screenings, and so much else.”
So he tried to walk it back, but I think you have to take him at his word. And I think what we heard was a very unvarnished view that he has, and I for one have been very vocal in criticizing him and criticizing the other Republicans who are now embarrassed that he said what they all believe.
Watch Clinton’s comments below:
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After sparking the firestorm, Trump’s campaign soon issued a statement reversing his position on which people should be punished for having abortions if the procedure were banned. Trump then said that it should be those who perform the abortions, not the women who receive them.
In a Fox News interview on Thursday, Trump admitted that “it could be that I misspoke” on the topic.
Even many conservatives attempted to distance themselves from Trump’s initial proposal. Antiabortion groups slammed Trump’s suggestion. And Trump’s two Republican opponents said that the frontrunner had revealed his naïveté on the issue.
“Once again Donald Trump has demonstrated that he hasn’t seriously thought through the issues, and he’ll say anything just to get attention,” said Sen. Ted Cruz, Trump’s top primary rival.
Cruz added: “Of course we shouldn’t be talking about punishing women; we should affirm their dignity and the incredible gift they have to bring life into the world.”