Just when you think Donald Trump’s opinions about women and their rights had reached rocked bottom, he managed to quarry even further into some ring of hell that, until previously, only existed in Dante’s Inferno. On Wednesday, while speaking with Chris Matthews on MSNBC, Trump said that he believes abortion should be banned and women who have abortions should be punished.

During a town hall-style question and answer, Matthews pressed Trump to explicitly state his abortion platform, something Trump had largely resisted expanding upon.

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“Should abortion be punished?” Matthews asked. “This is not something you can dodge,” he added.

Trump responded:

“Look, people in certain parts of the Republican Party, conservative Republicans, would say, ‘Yes, it should.”

It was clear that Trump was evading the question, but Matthews pursued his line of questioning, asking Trump to stake his personal position on the issue.

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“I would say it’s a very serious problem and it’s a problem we have to decide on. Are you going to send them to jail?” Trump asked almost as if he were looking for an answer. Matthews reiterated that he was asking Trump for clear policy and Trump gave him one:

“I am pro-life. Well, you go back to a position like they had where they would perhaps go to illegal places but we have to ban it.”

Though Trump weirdly acknowledged that banning abortion led women to pursue unsafe and potentially life-threatening options, it didn’t seem to matter to the candidate. When asked whether or not abortion should be punishable under law, Trump replied that it should. Bloomberg reports:

“There has to be some form of punishment,” Trump said. “For the woman?” Matthews asked. “Yeah,” Trump said, nodding.

Trump’s stance—that women should individually be punished—is out of step with the anti-choice community, which has recently generally focused on regulation and dissuading physicians rather than arresting women. Trump did not elaborate on what “punishment” would entail, saying that it would need to be decided and then pivoted to some unintelligible comments on the Supreme Court.

Matthews returned to his line of questioning and asked Trump about whether or not punishment would be applied to men who are equally responsible for an unwanted pregnancy.

“Is [the man] responsible under the law for these abortions? Or is he not responsible for an abortion decision?” Matthews asked. Unsurprisingly Trump responded, “Different feelings. Different people. I would say no.”

Welcome to Donald Trump’s world, where crazy, lying women are compelled to carry every pregnancy to term. But hey, he was joking about hating women. Or maybe, he has no idea what he’s talking about. After the interview, Trump’s campaign issued the following statement:

Update: Donald Trump’s son wants everyone to “be fair.” Stunning.

Update 2: More.

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.


Image via Getty.