Fr. Frank Pavone, the head of Priests for Life, sent out a press statement today seeking to “correct the record” on reports that Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump had blown off a planned conference call with a group of anti-choice activists he organized yesterday.
Pavone declined to go into details, but said that the Trump campaign did not “break any commitment, promise, appointment, or expectation” and that he has extended to Trump a “standing invitation to dialogue.”
Pavone also addressed Trump’s recent controversial comments that women who have abortions should face “some form of punishment,” which the candidate quickly retracted before taking several additional contradictory positions on abortion rights over the course of a week.
Pavone said that his group believes that the legal punishment for abortion “should be for the abortionist, not the baby’s mom,” but claimed that women who “have had abortions are already in prison.” (He meant this metaphorically, although it is also literally true.)
“We don’t aim to imprison them, we aim to liberate them from the shame and guilt and wounds abortion brings,” he said.
He added that people like Trump who believe in punishing women for abortion are “much easier to bring to the right position” than those who are pro-choice:
Much has been made of his recent comments about who should be punished for abortion. As for punishing the woman, those who have had abortions are already in prison. As the Pastoral Director of the world’s largest ministry of healing after abortion, Rachel’s Vineyard, and also of the Silent No More Awareness Campaign, by which those who have had abortions speak out about their experiences, I know this very well.
We don’t aim to imprison them, we aim to liberate them from the shame and guilt and wounds abortion brings. The punishment should be for the abortionist, not the baby’s mom. I have not spoken to Mr. Trump about this, but do look forward to doing so, and I am confident that he will listen to the voices and testimonies of women who suffer from abortion.
But Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton have also made comments recently on abortion, including in a Town Hall on Fox News with Bret Baier. Sanders could name no circumstance, and Hillary hardly any, in which they thought it would be OK to make a single abortion illegal. That position is out of step with the American people. And neither of them has corrected or edited those comments.
Those who — mistakenly — think there should be a punishment for the women are much easier to bring to the right position than those who take the even more outrageous, offensive, and disastrous position — like Sanders, Clinton, and the Democratic platform — that the dismemberment and decapitation of children should continue in a practically unlimited way.
In the former position, there’s an acknowledgment that society has to do something about the massive holocaust of children. In the latter position, there is a blatant disregard for the most fundamental right, the right to life.