Donald Trump Says He’d Punish Women Who Get Illegal Abortions

March 30, 2016, 8:28 PM UTC
Donald Trump Addresses GOP Lincoln Day Event In Michigan
Photograph by Bill Pugliano—Getty Images

Donald Trump’s stance on abortion is finally crystal clear—and it’s one many women aren’t going to like.

On Wednesday, the GOP frontrunner told MSNBC host Chris Matthews that “there has to be some form of punishment” for women who get abortions, should the procedure be banned in the U.S., according to Bloomberg.

The news site reports that the statement came after Matthews repeatedly asked the candidate whether abortion should be punished if it is outlawed. “This is not something you can dodge,” said Matthews.

In the same interview, Trump reiterated that he is pro-life, like his Republican rivals Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) and Gov. John Kasich (R-OH). Cruz has pointed out that his anti-abortion stance is an “evolution,” as he had previously described himself as “very pro-choice” to NBC in 1999.

The reaction to Trump’s statement has been strong, with a number of prominent women speaking out against the billionaire.

Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards tweeted that Trump “genuinely does not care about the health & safety of women,” while Democratic frontrunner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton called the declaration “horrific and telling.”

Marcy Stech, communications director for Democratic women’s group Emily’s List, says this latest news is more than just another addition to Trump’s long list of insults to women.

“The last person women need to police their health care decisions is someone who sees them not as people, but as ‘fat pigs,’ ‘bimbos,’ and ‘disgusting animals,'” she wrote in an email to Fortune. “While it’s easy to get distracted by the daily drama of his campaign, let’s not forget that Trump has adopted the same extreme policies embraced and advanced by the most fringe in his party. Republicans are about to nominate a truly dangerous man to lead their fight to restrict women’s access to abortion.”

In response to Fortune‘s request for a statement, the Trump campaign sent the following quote, attributed to the presidential candidate: “This issue is unclear and should be put back into the states for determination. Like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions, which I have outlined numerous times.”

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