Posted by: on March 31, 2016

On Wednesday Donald Trump was on damage control over his comments about abortion.

He said women who undergo the procedure should face “some form of punishment” should the practice be outlawed.

Several hours later after there was widespread condemnation from Trump’s presidential rivals even from anti-abortion groups, Trump walked back from his remarks. He released a statement saying that women who obtain abortions are victims and that doctors who perform the service are the ones who should be punished.

Trump said:

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. The woman is a victim in this case as is the life in her womb.

Trump’s initial comments on Wednesday came after a lengthy exchange with MSNBC host Chris Matthews who pressured him to give a yes or no answer to the question, “should abortion be punished.”

“There has to be some form of punishment” Trump said in response during a televised town hall event.

Previously he had refused to answer if he would support women who undergo abortions or doctors who perform them.

In 1999 during an interview, Trump said he was “pro-choice in every respect” though he said he hated the “concept of abortion.”

Below is Trump’s exchange with Chris Matthews: