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39 percent of Trump voters think women who seek abortions should be punished: poll

Rally against the CCBR's anti-abortion caravan at the Vancouver Art Gallery [Flickr Creative Commons]

A new poll released Tuesday found that of 2,000 self-identified Donald Trump supporters, 39 percent think women seeking abortions should be punished, an idea previously floated by the president-elect himself.

As Slate reports, the poll—conducted by the communications consulting firm The Glover Park Group—surveyed Trump voters through an online survey that ran from Dec. 11-13, specifically focusing on government regulations.

The poll shows a hardline position shared by many Trump supporters on one of the most divisive issues in the United States. Among those who backed the president-elect, 42 percent said abortion should be illegal with few exceptions, while a full 18 percent said abortion should be illegal without exception.

Incredibly, less than half of responders thought women seeking abortions should receive no punishment while 39 percent “strongly” or “somewhat” agreed that that “a woman seeking an abortion should be subject to some form of punishment.”

In an interview with Chis Matthews in March, Trump agreed with 39 percent of his supporters, insisting “there has to be some form of punishment” for the women, adding the type of punishment would “have to be determined.”

The president-elect famously walked back his suggestion, insisting the punishment would be reserved for the people providing abortions, later explaining away his reversal by telling the New York Times he “didn’t mean punishment for women like prison” when he suggested women should be punished.

“I’m saying women punish themselves,” Trump argued. “I didn’t want people to think in terms of ‘prison’ punishment. And because of that I walked it back.”

Trump has similarly promised to nominate pro-life judges in the vision of former Justice Antonin Scalia, telling CBS ’60 Minutes in November that if his judges work to overturn Roe v. Wade, abortion will “go back to the states.”

Trump added women in states where abortion is restricted or made illegal would “perhaps have to go to another state.”

A number of states already restrict abortions; most recently, lawmakers in Ohio attempted to pass the nation’s strictest abortion legislation, banning abortions after a fetal heartbeat, which is typically around six weeks gestation. Former Trump rival Ohio Gov. John Kasich vetoed the bill, but he passed a law preventing them after 20 weeks.

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Elizabeth Preza: