Trump’s Latest Convoluted Word Vomit On Abortion Is Absolutely Unconscionable


Screen-Shot-2016-03-30-at-4.13.59-PMThere is a widely-cited study from 2008 that sought to find out how many women would have an abortion in their lifetime. Statistics from the early 1990s put the estimate at 45% of women, but the 2008 study showed that it was approximately  one in three. Certainly, there are caveats to this. The abortion rate continues to decline in America because of a number of factors. There are restrictions to abortion services being enacted in almost every state at an alarming rate, which contributes to the falling rate of abortion. There is also the Affordable Care Act, which helps women get access to more effective birth control.

You know who wants to do away with the Affordable Care Act? Donald Trump. He has been doing his level best to offend every woman in America one way or the other, and it’s working: a recent poll showed that 73% of women of voting age have a very negative view of the mogul who truly seems to have woken up one day and said, “I’d like to run for president now.” Always one to go for the gold, Trump made a move today to close in on that elusive 27% of women who don’t yet despise him. He went after the approximately one in three women who will have an abortion in their lifetime. Watch:

Chris Matthews should be given nothing but credit for pushing Trump on this. Trump’s blustering and stuttering reveal the fact that he knows nothing about reproductive healthcare or policy and interviewing him as he flies all over the place can’t be easy, but the task falls to a new reporter (or five) every day and at least this time, Matthews killed it.

So, where does it leave us now that Matthews got Trump to say that women should be punished for having an abortion? Where does it leave the reported one in three women who will have an abortion during their reproductive years? And where, if I may ask, does it leave the children of mothers who are punished? Did you know that 61% of women who terminate a pregnancy are already mothers

Should they be punished? Or are we only going to punish the women who fit into the narrative of being lazy “sluts” like Sandra Fluke? Are we only interested in punishing the women who are, in Trump’s words, bimbos? Pigs? Can a woman be a mother and a tramp at the same time? (Ask Kim Kardashian what she thinks on that one.)

If we are going to punish women who are already mothers, are we going to punish those members of the one in three who are active in the American workforce? How about the 113 lawyers who filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court detailing how access to safe, legal abortion helped them become successful attorneys? Wendy Davis? Are we going to punish Wendy Davis? Chelsea HandlerVanessa Williams? Linda Ellerbee? Is there a statute of limitations or are we going to retroactively punish these successful women who’ve all gone on the record about their abortions?

What blows my mind about this debate the most is that so many refuse to believe that the one in three could be their sister, their cousin, their aunt, their mom, or their best friend. It could be. Not only that, but it almost definitely is. Since I became a vocal advocate for abortion rights a few years ago, my personal inboxes have been inundated with messages from people who live in my ultra-conservative home state and have hidden their abortions from the people around them. Strangers message me to thank me for writing about reproductive rights. Acquaintances text me to ask me what clinic I recommend, what type of birth control they should get, or, sometimes, if I will go with them and sit in the waiting room. I am not a doctor. I don’t give medical advice. What I do, though, is listen, and what I’ve learned is that it really is one in three women, all of whom have their own set of circumstances, their own struggles, and their own triumphs.

Your grandmother and the woman who sits next to you at work are who Trump talks about when he talks about punishing women who have abortions. They are of whom he speaks when he so casually says “they would perhaps go to illegal places” to undergo a procedure that is safer than liposuction or carrying a pregnancy to term.

To support a person who spouts off drivel like that is completely unconscionable because one day, it could be you facing a tough decision and it could be you facing punishment. It could be you waiting in the dark to be picked up, blindfolded, and driven to an undisclosed location where you pay in cash to have a surgery on a kitchen table. It could be you facing a prison term for making a personal decision that was best for you and for your family.

Finally, when one of the most anti-choice governors in the country so emphatically denounces punishing women for having abortions, you know the idea is radical to the point of being a full-scale war on women.

Do not enlist in that war. Do not let Trump get away with this. As John Kasich pointed out in the video above, Trump will find a way to say he never called for punishments for those who have abortions. We have it recorded. We know what he said. Unless you truly believe that every person in your life who has terminated a pregnancy should be punished — and again, I assure you there are people in your life who have terminated a pregnancy — then you must disavow this statement and this candidate.

[image via screengrab]

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This is an opinion piece. The views expressed in this article are those of just the author.

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