- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Hillary Clinton on Tuesday said Republicans secretly agree with GOP primary front-runner Donald Trump that women should face “punishment” for abortion.

“Don’t be misled — Trump may be the most outrageous of the Republicans — he is saying what all of them believe,” Mrs. Clinton said at a town hall in New York. “They want abortion to be illegal, and they do want to punish women and doctors. He just committed the sin of actually telling people what they believe.”

Mr. Trump last month said women who procure abortions must face “some form of punishment,” but quickly walked back the statement in the face of mounting criticism from both the pro-life and pro-choice communities. He said only doctors should be punished for performing abortions.

Other GOP primary candidates and influential pro-life leaders were also quick to denounce the sentiment.

Texas Senator Ted Cruz said in the aftermath that we “shouldn’t be talking about punishing women,” while Ohio Governor John Kasich said one can be pro-life and still have compassion for women who seek abortions.

“I believe you can be a defender of life while respecting women,” Mr. Kasich said. “You can defend our country without alienating our allies and basic human rights, and you win against Hillary Clinton without using outlandish rhetoric.”

National Right to Life President Carol Tobias said both unborn children and mothers are “victims in an abortion.”

“In adopting statutes prohibiting the performance of abortions, National Right to Life has long opposed the imposition of penalties on the woman on whom an abortion is attempted or performed,” Ms. Tobias said in a statement. “Rather, penalties should be imposed against any abortionist who would take the life of an unborn child in defiance of statutes prohibiting abortions.”

And Live Action President Lila Rose said the focus of laws deterring abortion should be on the doctors performing the procedures, not the women.

“The law must protect the lives of children in the womb,” Ms. Rose said. “The abortion industry should be shut down and any abortionist who commits abortions should be held accountable for his crimes against women and children.”

“As for the women who are facing crisis pregnancies,” she continued, “the focus should be on supporting them and their preborn children with pre- and post-natal care and adoption services.”

Mrs. Clinton was criticized by a Planned Parenthood official on Sunday for referring to an “unborn person” and “child” when talking about abortion. Pro-choice advocates have long held that such terms improperly imply a sense of humanity to the unborn.

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