Washington, Mar 31: Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump walked back his remarks in which he suggested 'some form of punishment' for American women who terminate their pregnancies through abortion.
He walked back his statement after widespread condemnation from his presidential rivals and even leading anti-abortion groups, reported the CNN.
"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."
"There has to be some form of punishment," Trump told Matthews in the exchange over whether abortion should be banned. Pressed by Matthews on the nature of that punishment, Trump responded: "I haven't determined what the punishment should be."
Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton quickly responded on Twitter, noting Trump's comments and adding, "Just when you thought it couldn't get worse. Horrific and telling."
His latest controversial statement came less than a week before Wisconsin Republicans vote in the state's primary. Wisconsin primary is seen as pivotal in the road to the GOP presidential nomination.
Remember: If you make abortion a crime, you make women who seek abortions criminals. You put one in three women at risk.
Remember: If you make abortion a crime, you make women who seek abortions criminals. You put one in three women at risk.— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) March 30, 2016