What does Trump really think?

Story highlights

  • Donald Trump sparked controversy with remarks this week on abortions
  • Peggy Drexler: This time, it's possible even Trump has gone too far

Peggy Drexler is the author of "Our Fathers, Ourselves: Daughters, Fathers, and the Changing American Family" and "Raising Boys Without Men." She is an assistant professor of psychology at Weill Medical College of Cornell University and a former gender scholar at Stanford University. The opinions expressed in this commentary are hers.

(CNN)What's Donald Trump thinking?

That's the question coming on the heels of the latest remarks from the campaign season's most provocative candidate. Earlier this week, you've probably heard, Trump announced that if abortion were banned -- which it very well could be if he is elected to office -- he believed women who undergo the procedure should be punished.
And yet, it's more than just a case of another day, another headline-making proclamation. This time, it's possible even Trump has gone too far -- and not just with female voters, but with all voters.
    Peggy Drexler
    In an interview with MSNBC's Chris Matthews, the GOP front-runner couldn't say what exactly the punishment would be, just that if women's right to choose is revoked, it could force many to seek out illegal procedures, and that those who do should face repercussions. The men responsible for impregnating the women, though -- they'd have nothing to worry about.
    It was a conservative line of thinking even for Trump. Even the most mainstream anti-abortion views -- espoused by such conservatives as Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee -- tend to advocate for punishment for providers, rather than for women.
    Certainly, Trump has found success in riling people up. Every week seems to bring a new op-ed calling him out on some offense or another. And yet he's still talking. That's because people are listening, women included, despite the fact that many of his policies would seem to alienate them. Indeed, voters have so far handed him victories in 18 states. And just this week, when asked whether she would vote for Hillary Clinton if Bernie Sanders were to lose the nomination, actress and activist Susan Sarandon told MSNBC's Chris Hayes: "I don't know. I'm going to see what happens." This certainly wasn't an endorsement for Trump, but neither was it censure.
    And yet this week's events have many asking whether Trump's latest incitements might serv