(NEW YORK) — Donald Trump is seeking to clarify his comments on abortion…again. After saying Wednesday that that women who undergo abortions, if there were a ban on the procedure, should be punished, then releasing a statement reversing that position, now he’s admitting that he could have “misspoken” initially.
Speaking to Fox News host Eric Bolling, he reaffirmed that, if abortions were illegal, it would be the doctor’s actions that were illegal.
“It could be that I misspoke,” he said of the initial comments, adding, “But this was a long, convoluted subject.”
The original controversial statement was made during a taping of a town hall held by MSNBC.
During the town hall, Trump is pressed repeatedly by host Chris Matthews if he thinks there should be “some form of punishment” in the event of a ban and Trump finally says: “For the woman? … Yeah.”
He said that the punishment in question would “have to be determined.”
During the exchange, Trump also affirmed what he’s said before; that he does support a ban on abortion. “You have to ban it,” he told Matthew. He’s expressed support in the past for overturning Roe v. Wade.
Trump’s campaign initially said in a statement 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.”
Later, the campaign walked back Trump’s initial comments. “The doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman,” the statement said. “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.”
Trump’s comments at the MSNBC town hall were quick to draw criticism, including from the head of Planned Parenthood.
.@realDonaldTrump is vocalizing the motivations of every politician who votes to restrict access to abortion. It's about controlling women.
— Cecile Richards (@CecileRichards) March 30, 2016
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