Trump’s Statements on ‘Punishing’ Women and Doctors Expose Achilles’ Heel of Anti-Choice Movement

March 31, 2016
Contact: Christie Petrone, 718-594-6538, [email protected]

Statement from Andrea Miller,
President of the National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund

In statements made yesterday, Donald Trump admitted what the anti-choice movement has tried to hide all along — instead of providing women with safe, supported access to reproductive health care, they want to ban all abortion and treat women who have abortions like criminals.
“Let’s disabuse ourselves of the notion that Donald Trump is out of step with opponents of abortion,” National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund President Andrea Miller said. “Other anti-choice politicians and movement leaders are tripping over themselves to publicly condemn Donald Trump’s remarks. But their protests ring hollow given that they share his goal of banning abortion and overturning Roe v. Wade. The logical outcome of making abortion illegal would mean that women who have abortions and medical professionals who provide them would, as Trump admitted, incur ‘some form of punishment.’”
This is not the first time anti-choice politicians have been called out for advancing laws and views that treat women who have abortions and the doctors who provide them like criminals. In 2008, the National Institute for Reproductive Health’s Winning Message Action Fund ran ads in battleground states asking the question, if abortion is made illegal and a woman is criminalized for having one, how much time should she do?
Since then, anti-abortion laws have proliferated, making it more difficult, in some cases impossible, for a woman to access abortion. Since 2010, anti-choice politicians have quietly passed 334 laws that shame, pressure, punish — even criminalize — women who have decided to have an abortion. Just this month in Oklahoma, a ballot initiative petition was filed that makes providing abortion a homicide, punishable by jail time, and women have been arrested in states like Tennessee, where a woman was prosecuted this past December for attempting to self-induce abortion.
“The feigned concern over Trump’s ‘extremism’ belies the reality of the damage to women’s health and lives already caused by elected officials’ successful efforts to chip away at abortion access,” Miller said. “This impact is especially pronounced for low-income women, women of color, and rural women.”
Miller concluded, “Trump’s supporters are proud that he tells it like it is, and they’re right, in this case. He has exposed the Achilles’ heel of the anti-choice movement: Instead of protecting women’s health, the logical conclusion of anti-choice laws is to treat women who have abortions — and the doctors who perform them — like criminals. With women’s lives and health at stake, it’s never been more important to ensure that our leaders truly reflect the values of America’s pro-choice majority.”


The National Institute for Reproductive Health Action Fund, a 501(c)(4) organization, conducts legislative and political advocacy to protect and advance reproductive health, rights, and justice and supports partner advocacy in states and cities nationwide.