Donald Trump is under fire from Democrats and Republicans alike for his suggestion Wednesday that women who undergo abortions should face punishment if the U.S. bans the procedure.
Trump later walked back his comments in a statement saying that the doctors who perform abortions should be held responsible, rather than the women who obtain them – but by then the backlash was already well under way.
Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton was one of the first to condemn Trump’s comments, taking to Twitter to say: “Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse. Horrific and telling. -H”
She followed up with a barrage of tweets about Trump and women’s health care, including one reminding voters that “Trump isn’t that different from every other Republican candidate who would also outlaw abortion.”
Clinton later told MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow in an interview that Trump “would make both women and doctors criminals.”
“What he said today is among the most dangerous and outrageous statements that I’ve heard anybody running for president say in a really long time,” the former secretary of state added.
Democratic hopeful Bernie Sanders also blasted Trump on Twitter Wednesday, writing, “Your Republican frontrunner, ladies and gentlemen. Shameful.” in response to the billionaire businessman’s abortion remarks.
The Vermont senator, who also sat down with Maddow Wednesday night, said calling Trump’s comments ” ‘shameful’ is probably understating that position. To punish a woman for having an abortion is beyond comprehension One would say, ‘What is in Donald Trump’s mind?’ – except we’re tired of saying that. I don’t know what world this person lives in.”
The attacks poured in from Trump’s GOP rivals as well, with Ohio Gov. John Kasich releasing a statement saying, “The past 24 hours revealed in the clearest way yet that Donald Trump is not prepared to be president.”
On Good Morning America Thursday morning, Kasich hit Trump again for his “irresponsible” comments on abortion, nuclear weapons, the Supreme Court and the Geneva Conventions.
“It’s like a panoply of mistakes and outrageous statements,” Kasich said. “You know what it is with Donald? It’s just a stream of consciousness you can’t operate like this.”
The Twitterverse also had some thoughts on Trump’s abortion stance:
Even GOP hopeful Ted Cruz faulted Trump’s abortion comments, tweeting on Wednesday, “We shouldn’t be talking about punishing women; we should affirm their dignity and gift to bring life into the world.”
The Texas senator also released a statement saying, “Once again Donald Trump has demonstrated that he hasn’t seriously thought through the issues, and he’ll say anything just to get attention. On the important issue of the sanctity of life, what’s far too often neglected is that being pro-life is not simply about the unborn child; it’s also about the mother – and creating a culture that respects her and embraces life. Of course we shouldn’t be talking about punishing women; we should affirm their dignity and the incredible gift they have to bring life into the world.”