tv Inside Story Al Jazeera April 2, 2016 2:00am-2:31am EDT
>> it's extraordinary to be here, check this out. >> we're looking at the most incredible wonders of the natural world. >> we've returned this iconic mammal to illinois. >> we can make clean drinking water just using the sun. >> this opens up whole new possibilities. >> al jazeera america, proud to tell your stories. this week donald trump caused all kinds of handringing when under questioning from chris matthews he said if abortions were outlawed, women could be punished for having them. the reaction from abortion rights side was predictable, but the reaction from the anti
abortion side was fascinating. what had the presidential said that was so beyond the pale? many proceed life leaders said simply donald trump doesn't understand the movement's position. crime without punishment? it's the "inside story". welcome to inside story. i'm ray suarez. talk to anti abortion activists around the country. they reject the clinton era notion that the procedure should be safe, legal and rare. many say it's not enough, nowhere near enough to merely make abortions harder to get. put more and more limitations on who can get them and under what circumstances. they want the procedure ended as a leg option in the u.s. so it was interesting to watch
the reaction to donald trump's statement under questioning from chris matthews that there should abortions. national organizations were quick to put lots of daylight between themselves and the real estate developer turned presidential candidate. they said trump doesn't understand the movement. senator ted cruz said trump had committed this gaff for a simple reason, he is not really pro-life. i report on his statement-- a report on his statement >> reporter: doing what he does best, donald trump over abortion. the republican front runner suggesting women should be punished for having the procedure. >> do you believe in punishment for abortion? >> the answer is that there has to be some form of punishment >> to the woman? >> yeah. there has to be some form >> what? >> that i don't know. >> reporter: donald trump's campaign came out with a statement saying the issue regarding abortion is unclear and should be left up to the state.
he further clarified in a later statement saying that should abortion ever been out lawed in country, doctors should be punished for carrying out the procedure not women. the response to his remarks was swift from hillary clinton tweeting just when you thought it couldn't get worse, horrific and telling. this coming as the three men still stand engine the republican race for the white house appear to be backing away from a pledge to support whoever is the nominee. they made their remarks in wisconsin tuesday night >> if donald trump is the g.o.p. would you support him? >> let me tell you my solution to that. donald is not going to be the g.o.p. nominee. we're going to beat him. >> no. i don't any more. i've been treated very unfairly. i give you an example. >> by whom? >> i think by basically the rnc, the republican party, the establishment >> if the nominee is somebody who i think is hurting the
country and defying the country, i can't stand behind him. we have a way to go. >> reporter: last year all g.o.p. candidates signed a pledge to support the party's choice whoever it turns out to be hold on a minute, back to abortion. this is the same pro-life movement that has spear headed so-called personhood laws that would redefine even the youngest foetus as having the same legal status as i child. the same movement that insists life begins at intervention. defining before a fertilised egg has an a beginning. if you want to make a legal procedure illegal why wouldn't women who seek out an illegal procedure be law breakers of some form? what other law breaking is understood from the get go to carry no sanction? no penalty? crime without punishment?
this time on the program, joining me for that conversation lauren schivay is the leader of all in together. the president of the march for life education and defense fund and senior writer for opportunity lives. help me out here. was your organization one of the ones that rose up after trump made his remarks to object? >> absolutely. we were shocked and really appalled at his comments. they're very much out of touch with the pro-life movement and out of touch with the march for life. i would say women in general as well. we immediately put out a statement talking about what women who are considering an abortion need is not the threat of punishment. what they need is support and often when they have been backed into a corner and made that decision often out of desperation, what she needs is a
path to healing and hope, not punishment should abortion become illegal in the u.s.? is that the position of the march for life? >> the of march for life is very much that the loftier goal is building a culture of life where no woman would want to choose abortion because she would know that it's not what's best for her or for her baby. it is pro-women and pro-baby. want ewe want what's best for both. our golf is loftier than laws and frankly the way that it goes, culture is upstream of politics. what is happening in the culture, people's hearts and minds are much more important than the laws and what the laws reflect. in an ideal culture, the laws reflect what's in people's hearts and minds and what we're really aiming for is a place again where no woman would want to choose abortion. we don't live in that culture and we've seen many, many
wonderful laws, common sense laws of the states that limit abortion and that are in large part protective of women where do you come down personally and where did you see the movement coalescing this week as people took up the conversation of, in effect, debate. >> i'm personally pro-life and i'm glad the way the pro-life responded. for years that i've been working in this space, i've never heard anybody advocate for the idea that the women - that women should be punished or that there should be some type of criminal repercussion after she seeks an abortion. what donald trump said was completely out of line. again, i've never heard that ever. i'm glad that the movement spoke up because i think it is so important that the movement articulate that what donald trump said does not speak for
the broader movement is that true, that nobody wants to sanction women for procedure? >> i'm not entirely sure that that's in practicality what's happening. there have actually been a number of cases in some southern states of women who have been prosecuted with felonies for having had abortion in violation of stat tutes. there is a mother of a 16-year-old who is sitting in prison, i think it's georgia, because she got ordered the abortion pill for her 16-year-old when they determined it was too expensive and difficult for them to get to a licensed provider. the bigger issue here is really, i think, that part of why so many are so passionate about this, distancing themselves from this kind of really extreme perspective, is, of course,
because women are so important to the future of the republican party, they're important to the future of both parties, and this kind of rhetoric, whether or not he believed it, is just so consistently ail -- ail eneighting-- alienating for women. i think that's the point. this kind of stuff is so problematic for the republican party generally because they do need to attract more women to the party, they need to demonstrate their inclusiveness and this rhetoric is destructive period there's a practical political dimension to this position as well. >> absolutely. i'm just going to back back for a-- to go back for a moment to something that lauren said. my understanding is that the only laws that would ever have any kind of punishment towards
the woman would be where she has made herself the abortionist, so it would be chemical abortion. i'm not aware of any pro-lifers or legislators that have been behind those laws. it was the case that the perpetrators of the abortion, the abortion doctors, the abortionists, were the ones that were punished. even now in what we would consider incremental laws, for example, partial birth boorlgs act, there are punishments or penalties for the-- abortion act-- for the doctor and not the woman. those would be fines and some in some cases prison sentence i want to pick it up right there because that is a problematic point of view, i think. crime without punishment, trump and abortion. stay with it's "inside story".. >> images matter. >> innovative filmmaker, spike lee - on his controversial new movie. >> the southwest side of chicago is a war zone. >> taking on the critics. >> and another thing... a lot of the people have not seen the film.
you're watching "inside story." i'm ray suarez. the fallout continues from donald trump's suggestion that women who get abortions after the procedure is banned should face punishment. given the persistent logic of the anti abortion movement and anti abortion politicians for decades, what was the problem with what the presidential candidate said? where are the trip wires and pit falls in talking about abortion for a republican politician in 2016? senator marco rubio said that he wouldn't allow women to end pregnancies even when they were pregnant with the child of their
rapist or their father and you heard not a peep, the signs the chants, the clinic demonstrators saying abortion isurder, but if the donald trump backlash is to be believed, it is not a murder to which the woman is an accessory. my guests are still with me. just before the break we were talking about how so much of the attention has gone on to providers and that's, obviously, and apparently true, but doesn't that remove some agency, some decision-making power, some of the responsibility from what in many cases is an adult women in millions of cases a woman who has already had children? >> sure, but when a woman is facing an unexpected pregnancy, i would offer that frequently she has got a multitude of things coming at her and she might not have her grounded approach that she would normally have.
i will give a personal example here. i recently spoke with a young woman who is extremely pro-life and she thought that she may have been pregnant at one point. it turned out that she wasn't, but she tried to describe to me her experience in that moment, how she absolutely was considering this as an option and how she was overcome with emotions and psychological issues. i think the question of complicity is one that we should consider. i do think that in this culture where there is an abortion clinic every few miles in some cities and-- every few hundred miles in some places. >> true. >> exactly >> and we're given all sorts of messages from planned parenthood and so we live in a culture where abortion is considered a normal and normaltive thing--
normative thing. i frankly think that women are given so many messages that they're not fully complicit is there a risk in that point of view, in almost turning the adult in the room as the doctor, in effect. >> i think that's absolutely the case. first of all, this whole conversation in the sense is i think frustrating to a lot of people because it is not a crime, it is a protected right and i think many women, part of what makes it so difficult and so charged is how incredibly personal and private a decision this is for women facing those choices, the idea that somebody is a criminal because they make that kind of difficult choice which, again, is protected by law. let's not forget, we're not living in a fantasy world, living in reality it is a settled law, it has been a law for a long time and i totally appreciate - i happen to be pro-choice.
i do appreciate the perspective of the pro-life movement. i know it is a complicated, moral set of choices, but the idea of killising women on this so outside anything any rational woman is endorse. it is so far out there. i think the-- why is it so out there? if you go to an abortion clinic and yell at the women who are going through the front door, telling them they're about to murder their child, when and if they go through with it, how are they off the hook? how are they-- >> first of all it's not a crime i'm talking about in a world - the whole conversation was predicated on trump being asked if it was being made illegal would women be liable. i'm sorry, finish your thought >> legally they could be. of course they could be. that's part of what the
pro-choice movement is always concerned with and that the pro-life movement would like to ensure it would not be in their agenda because it is so alienating and distasteful to women. the fundamental issue here is the problem that - you asked the question about why did anyone say anything in the case of marco rubio. the fundamental issue here is that for probably the majority of american women, certainly a majority of the voting public, this is not the central issue for them in terms of what they vote on. it is one of many important issues, but the problem for the republican party is that if their candidates take ultra extreme positions like this one, it alienate s women who say they will not vote for them. women do not support him and they find his position a turn
off you've done political work for years. >> yes is there something in what lauren was just saying about this being a political problem? it has to be managed? >> she used the word extreme position. i think that is important. i think to turn it around to the democratic party and obama and to now secretary hillary clinton, they have been on the record in support of partial birth abortion. president obama when he was in the state legislature in illinois was comfortable with the idea of if a baby is born after an abortion procedure, that terminate, not help that baby. once that baby is out of the woman's body. these are extreme positions that the democratic party and the left have taken. if we're going to have this conversation, let's have an open conversation and not just - sure, let's pick on donald trump, but also talk about what
it means to have a culture where we do celebrate the life. >> so it's not extreme? donald trump or clinton? >> i think it is right to have this conversation. i think the polling is suggesting that people are starting to become more open to the idea that life does begin at conception. after 1973, the majority of people were comfortable with abortion, but has science has evolved, as we start seeing a heart beat in babies, that has changed. so many young people marching for life. it shows the pro-choice movement has to be worried about how people are evolving on this issue if abortion becomes a crime, will it be a crime without pusht. that is what-- punishment. that is what we've been asking. >> [chanting] yes we can! >> an historic election. >> you and i, we're going to change this county, and we will change the world. >> monumental decisions.
>> mr. president, there's a one and three chance of a second great depression. >> first-hand accounts from the people who were there. >> their opinion was shocking. >> the challenges. >> he said, "i am president of the united states and i can't make anything happen." >> the realities. >> he stood up and said, "that's it, i'm finished."
there are people in jail right now in various kinds of punishment, jennifer wayland got abortion drugs for her teenage daughter. she is in prison. another is in prison for giving herself an abortion. south carlina law says foetuses are person and endangered several people for endangering the life of a human being. can you have that tight set of strictures and then turn and say a woman who goes all the way and ends a pregnancy is sort of off the hook, it's sad, it's tragic, but it's her doctor's fault? >> first of all, it wasn't ever pro-lifers that were in favor of developing those laws. i would not necessarily be behind them. i would like to speak about someone else in jail that should be and that's dr gosnell.
seven people died at his hands in his deplorable clinic conditions. this is a perfect example of a good law. clinics should be regulated at a high level and sadly what happens is often in the name of greater access to abortion, abortion proponents are willing to lower the bar on health clinic regulations. he had a deplorable clinic. women were actually catching sexually transmitted diseases through some of his instruments and things like that because they were not sanitised. a couple of women died as they were receiving abortions from him or in the days following. he committed partial birth abortion. he is behind bars now. that's an example to me that the pro-life movement would be behind. >> it took weeks for the washington post to write this because that was a local crime in the area
i'm not sure anybody stepped forward to assert the doctor's right to run his clinic as he saw fit. people were horrified by the house of horrors story that emerged. did anybody speak up on his behalf? i'm not aware that anybody did. >> well, i think more broadly what you see is people speaking up against clinic regulations, which is just shocking to me. if we're pro-women's health, why wouldn't we want standards for clinics, why would we lower the bar on health clinic regulations so women can have more abortions. clinics were regulated at the level of vet clinics, of beauty parlours, of pools, public pools, before this hit the presses. now we see more laws more people drown in public pools than difficult in abortion clinics in the south-west.
>> we're in a culture that commits 1.1 million abortions a year. that's an enormous number. i would just take issue at your joke about the pool is this over, is this just a blip in a very long campaign otherwise or is this something that's going to have emanations going forward? >> no. i think this will have a ripple effect. my view is that i think what donald trump got a lot of slap in one of the debates, for having spoken up on behalf of planned parent hoopd, he was trying to take a turn in order to give his bona fides and he was shot down because he didn't know enough. so he was shot down on both sides of it.
it was a lack of the political climate. this has been one of the biggest issues. he just stepped on the grenade. i think it's not going to go away. i think it's unfortunate that we're taking this hypothetical and turning into another excuse to relitigate a lot of issues that continue to be very complicated, that are continued to be extremely controversial. there are good women on both sides of this issue. i think criminalizing or vilifying women on either side is really wrong. it is just, again, further evidence that donald trump is going to have a massive problem getting elected in the general election because he cannot win any kind of plurality of women. this is an important point, no-one wins the white house without winning the majority of women. women are the majority of electorate, they're more likely
to be registered to vote and turn out and vote on election day. any candidate that alienates women on any topic is really setting themselves up for their own demise is the republican party going to go to convention in cleveland in july and drive this point home again and again? is this a good look for them election? >> to be pro-life? yes, absolutely. that's part of the party platform. i think if the republican party distanced themselves from the pro-life movement, that would be a huge mistake because there are a lot of social conservatives that the republican needs if they're going to be successful in november i thank you, my guests . good to have you with us.
on monday, aborigine ongoing investigation into hillary clinton's emails, the issue that continues to dog her campaign. have investigators found things that can derail her race for the white house. thanks for watching. i'm ray suarez. goodnight. >> thanks for joining us on "america tonight." i'm joie chen. this week we marked international women's day when