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Irish Pro-Life Campaign criticises Donald Trump over controversial abortion remarks

Amnesty International is also not happy with the Republican’s comments.

don Source: Nam Y Huh/AP/Press Association Images

YESTERDAY DONALD TRUMP was criticised for saying women should be punished for having an abortion.

In an interview with MSNBC, the Republican presidential frontrunner would not give details as to whether such a punishment should include jail or a fine.

“I would say that it’s a very serious problem and it’s a problem that we have to decide on,” he said.

Source: MSNBC/YouTube

After the interview, Trump released a statement in which he attempted to backtrack. He said it should be up to individual states to decide, and doctors who perform illegal abortions should be punished – not the women who have terminations.

His comments were widely criticised, with Democratic presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders labelling them “horrific” and “shameful” respectively.

Trump’s Republican rival Ted Cruz also put the boot in, saying: “Once again Donald Trump has demonstrated that he hasn’t seriously thought through the issues, and he’ll say anything just to get attention.”

Irish groups 

But what do Irish organisations make of Trump’s comments?

Dr Ruth Cullen, a spokesperson for the Pro-Life Campaign said: “It is good that Mr Trump has retracted his comments. If he had done his homework a little better, he would know that pro-life groups in the US and elsewhere have an excellent record in providing supports to women experiencing an unexpected pregnancy.

These same groups would be absolutely opposed to any attempts to punish women who had abortions. Pro-life supporters have always sought to ensure that the abortionist, not the woman having the abortion, be pursued over illegal abortions.

Meanwhile Colm O’Gorman, executive director of Amnesty International Ireland, noted that Trump “has become infamous for his extreme and inflammatory views”.

“It’s remarkable then, that when he effectively called for an abortion regime that would mirror what we have in Ireland, even he had to row back and do a partial u-turn on his comments.”

When it comes to our abortion law, the Irish state criminalises women and the medical professionals who care for them. If you have an illegal abortion in Ireland, you risk 14 years in prison. If you’re a healthcare provider and refer a woman to seek an abortion abroad, you can be fined up to €4,000.

Amnesty is currently holding a two-week demonstration outside Leinster House to highlight the fact 12 women and girls travel to the UK every day for abortions.

Flip-flopping

Throughout the course of his presidential nomination campaign, Trump has seemingly changed previously-held views on several subjects including abortion.

In a 1999 interview, Trump said he hated the concept of abortion but described himself as “pro-choice in every respect”, and said would not ban it if elected president.

Source: Bill Henderson/YouTube

Read: Donald Trump says women should be punished for having an abortion

Read: Who backs Donald? Profile of a core Trump supporter

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Órla Ryan

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