Donald Trump has shown his disdain for women over and over again, but this time, his comments have angered many across the political spectrum, including anti-choice Republicans. On Wednesday (March 30, 2016), during an appearance on MSNBC, Trump stated that woman who seek abortion should receive “some form of punishment” if the procedure is banned in the United States.

In response to this disturbing rhetoric, Ohio RCRC’s Executive Director Rev. Laura Young wrote a letter to the editor, which was published in the Columbus Dispatch on Friday (April 1, 2016):

The Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and the clergy and faith communities who stand with us vehemently condemn as hate speech the suggestion made by presidential candidate Donald Trump that women should be punished for having abortions (Dispatch article, Thursday).
We know that hate speech leads to hate action; therefore, we must stamp out this vicious call that might have direct consequences in the form of violence against physicians and other clinicians who provide comprehensive reproductive health care, including abortion care, and also against the people who seek these safe and legal procedures.
Shame on those who stigmatize and judge others for exercising their legal rights and moral autonomy. We will not stand for this kind of rhetoric in the public arena.
The Rev. Laura J. Young
Executive director
Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice