Donald Trump blew up the news cycle on Wednesday by telling Chris Matthews at a town hall that "there has to be some form of punishment" for women who have abortions if the procedure is outlawed.
Trump later reversed course and said that if abortion were illegal, criminal penalties would fall on doctors, not women. That's the mainstream pro-life position, but Trump seemingly wasn't aware of this. Pro-choice advocates, meanwhile, said that this mainstream pro-life position is disingenuous, and that Trump's comments reveal the inevitable real-world consequences of outlawing abortion.
Here's what Twitter had to say about the whole thing.
Many pro-life people were upset by Trump's comments, and said they don't represent the movement
Years - decades! - of the pro-life movement saying it's not looking to punish anyone for abortion, cut out at the knees by Trump.— T. Becket Adams (@BecketAdams) March 30, 2016
Trump’s comments are what someone who isn’t actually pro-life would think someone who is pro-life would want to hear https://t.co/LOWKoI5mgi— Josh Perry (@MrJoshPerry) March 30, 2016
In all my years of being pro life, I've never heard another pro lifer want anything but grace and healing for women who've had abortions— Michele Frost (@michelelfrost) March 30, 2016
This is the pro-life movement I know:— Alyssa Farah (@Alyssafarah) March 30, 2016
Some said Trump's views show that he's not truly pro-life
Don't overthink it: Trump doesn't understand the pro-life position because he's not pro-life.— Brian Phillips (@RealBPhil) March 30, 2016
Trump demonstrated his "flexibility" on the abortion flip flop. #DelicateDonald— toddstarnes (@toddstarnes) March 30, 2016
How can we have any idea what Trump will believe tomorrow when Trump has no idea what Trump will believe tomorrow.— LOLGOP (@LOLGOP) March 30, 2016
Others argued that Trump exposed the reality of pro-life policies, and the underlying logic of the pro-life position
Every R running for prez agrees with Trump on "punishing" women who get abortions. That's what it means for abortion to be illegal.— Zach Carter (@zachdcarter) March 30, 2016
Nope. This wasn't a verbal malfunction. This was an unplanned moment of honesty that should be taken seriously. https://t.co/JRMu4KM7Wf— Pamela Merritt (@SharkFu) March 30, 2016
2. Trump turns subtext into text. He doesn't know how to talk in dog whistle or code & spells out bluntly implications of policy.— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) March 30, 2016
5. In the case of abortion, Trump isn't native to anti-abortion right & doesn't know lingo devised to hide horrifying implications of policy— Jeet Heer (@HeerJeet) March 30, 2016
Some pointed out that women are already "punished" for abortion in America
Just FYI on Trump comments & the claim prolifers don't want women to go to jail for abortion: Women already are going to jail for abortion.— Jill Filipovic (@JillFilipovic) March 30, 2016
That's actually true, both in America and in countries like El Salvador where abortion is outlawed. One reason why:
Many self-induced abortions look exactly like miscarriages. Outlaw abortion, be prepared to have every miscarriage investigated.— Jill Filipovic (@JillFilipovic) March 30, 2016
And a pro-choice #WontBePunished hashtag took off
My abortion has allowed me to finish my education and do good work in my community. I'm unapologetic and unashamed. I #WontBePunished— Taylor Medley (@reprotaylor) March 30, 2016
I #WontBePunished for having an abortion. But unfortunately due to anti-choice politicians, too many people already are.— Renee Bracey Sherman (@RBraceySherman) March 30, 2016