Cruz slams Trump: We shouldn't be 'punishing women' for abortion
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Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP signals unease with Barr's gun plan NRA says Trump administration memo a 'non-starter' Barr fails to persuade Cruz on expanded background checks MORE lashed out at Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump conversation with foreign leader part of complaint that led to standoff between intel chief, Congress: report Pelosi: Lewandowski should have been held in contempt 'right then and there' Trump to withdraw FEMA chief nominee: report MORE on Wednesday for saying that women who get abortions illegally should be punished.

“Once again Donald Trump has demonstrated that he hasn’t seriously thought through the issues, and he’ll say anything just to get attention,” Cruz said in a statement.

“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.

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"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,” he added.

Trump was asked what a nationwide ban on abortion would look like in an interview with MSNBC's Chris Matthews.

“The answer is that there has to be some form of punishment,” Trump said.

“For the woman?” Matthews asked.

“Yeah, there has to be some form,” Trump responded.

Trump's comments sparked a firestorm. The celebrity businessman later attempted to walk back the comments in a statement released later on Wednesday.

“If Congress were to pass legislation making abortion illegal and the federal courts upheld this legislation, or any state were permitted to ban abortion under state and federal law, the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman,” Trump said.

“The woman is a victim in this case as is the life in her womb. My position has not changed — like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions.”