The XX Factor

Good News, Donald Trump! Women Are Already Punished for Seeking Abortions.

Donald Trump at a Republican debate in Milwaukee on Tuesday.

Darren Hauck/Getty Images

On Wednesday, Donald Trump put any fears about his pro-choice namby-pambiness to rest. In an MSNBC interview with Chris Matthews, the candidate said “you have to ban” abortions and that “there has to be some form of punishment” for women who would obtain abortions in defiance of the law.


“You’ll go back to a position like they had where people will, perhaps, go to illegal places,” Trump predicted of the bright tomorrow in which women seek, obtain, and get punished for illegal abortions. We haven’t re-great-ified America to the point of coat-hanger abortions just yet, but Trump will be glad to hear that women seeking abortions are already punished here in the United States of America:

  1. Women are fed misleading information and outright lies by doctors compelled by law to tell them that their abortions may cause breast cancer (it doesn’t), that they’ll be prone to infertility (untrue), and that life begins at conception (up for debate). In fact, one out of three bits of information abortion providers are forced by law to tell their patients are false.
  2. To get to clinics, women must walk through gantlets of protesters calling them murderers, telling them they’re going to hell, and waving signs with bloody imagery.
  3. Women must wait for a prescribed amount of time between mandatory pre-abortion counseling and the procedure in 28 states. Waiting periods make abortions more expensive, more dangerous, logistically challenging, and emotionally taxing.
  4. In 14 states, women must make two separate visits to a clinic, requiring extra time and money for transportation, time off work, child care, and travel expenses.
  5. In Utah, women seeking abortions at 20 weeks gestation or later are forced to take anesthetic drugs, even if it’s against their will, adding additional risk to an overwhelmingly safe procedure.
  6. Two-dozen states impose redundant or unnecessary safety requirements on abortion providers, making it harder for them to stay open and serve their patients.
  7. Twenty-two states impose superfluous licensing standards, and 14 require doctors to have affiliations with local hospitals. These laws are forcing clinics across the country to close, leaving women with longer distances to travel, longer wait times, and more expensive procedures.
  8. Poor women cannot use Medicaid to cover their abortions, sentencing them to debilitating expenses or unwanted pregnancies and children.
  9. In 38 states, girls must notify or gain consent from their parents before obtaining abortions, putting themselves at risk of financial, emotional, and sometimes physical harm.