Donald Trump: Women should be punished for abortions, but...

The WH hopeful retracted his statement after drawing flak from opponents and said 'he was pro-life with exceptions'

Washington: Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump has kicked off a political storm with his latest controversial comment that women should be punished for illegal abortions, drawing flak from political opponents who termed the remark "horrific" and "shameful".

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Wisconsin. Pic/AFP
Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at a campaign rally in Wisconsin. Pic/AFP

"There has to be some form of punishment," Trump said when asked: "Do you believe in punishment for abortion, yes or no?"
"For the woman?" asked the interviewer. "Yeah, there has to be some form," Trump (69), responded. Trump’s remarks sparked off a firestorm as his political opponents and women activists slammed him for such an "outrageous" remark.

Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton described the comments as "horrific." "Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse. Horrific and telling," Clinton (68) said in a tweet.

Democratic presidential aspirant Bernie Sanders said the comments were "shameful". "Once again Donald Trump has demonstrated that he hasn’t seriously thought through the issues, and he’ll say anything just to get attention," said Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz.

Trump, however, issued a quick clarification as the outcry grew, saying doctors performing the illegal act should be held responsible. "If Congress were to pass legislation making abortion illegal and the federal courts upheld this legislation, or any state were permitted to ban abortion under state and federal law, the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman," Trump 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 said, but the damage had already been done.

Trump under IRS audit

Tax counsel for Donald Trump said that the billionaire businessman has been under continuous audit by the federal tax agency for more than a decade. In the letter, released by the Trump campaign, Sheri Dillon and William Nelson wrote that Trump’s personal federal tax returns “have been under continuous examination by the IRS since 2002, consistent with the IRS’ practice for large and complex businesses.”

WH against his stand on nukes
The White House has criticized Trump for his view favouring countries like South Korea and Japan acquiring nuclear weapons to defend themselves. “Mr Trump’s suggestion that we should encourage our allies in South Korea to develop nuclear weapons is contrary to a policy the US has long pursued and against a policy the international community has supported,” WH Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.

Trump exploits fear: say Obama, Biden
In remarks aimed at presidential candidate Donald Trump, US President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden have cautioned against those “formenting division” by exploiting fear among people in the wake of the recent terror attacks around the world.

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