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However, the businessman appeared to walk back on his comments after their release by MSNBC to say the abortion issue should be handled by the states.
In a clip of an interview with MSNBC that aired today, Mr Trump said even if abortion is banned, some women would access the procedure illegally.
"There has to be some form of punishment," he said in the excerpt. Asked what form of punishment he would advocate, he said, "That I don't know."
His comments immediately unleashed a torrent of negative reactions, and his campaign released a statement in which he moderated his view.
It said: "This issue is unclear and should be put back into the states for determination."
The billionaire's rivals in the race for the Republican party presidential nomination say Mr Trump is not conservative enough on issues such as abortion.
They have also criticized him for comments that have offended women and minority groups.
"Of course women shouldn't be punished," rival candidate John Kasich, the governor of Ohio, told MSNBC.
Mr Kasich said he opposes abortion except in specific cases such as rape.
"I think probably Donald Trump will figure out a way to say that he didn't say it or he was misquoted or whatever," Mr Kasich said. "I don't think that's an appropriate response."
US Senator Ted Cruz of Texas, the third candidate for the Republican presidential nomination, earlier this year released an ad saying voters could not trust Mr Trump because he has not always opposed abortion.
Democratic presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders, on the other hand, say women should be able to choose to have an abortion.
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Look back at reports on events across the country marking the start of the 1916 Rising, as well as activities in Dublin as part of Reflecting the Rising
A number of events to mark the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising took place outside the GPO, including a reading of the 1916 Proclamation and the laying of a wreath by President Michael D Higgins
Roger Casement's legacy has been defined by his dual status as a 1916 martyr for Irish freedom and a traitor to the British Empire. But what of his journeys through Africa? And how did they affect his republicanism?
A number of events are taking place around the country to celebrate the centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising. In Dublin, thousands of people are attending RTÉ's Reflecting the Rising, organised in partnership with Ireland 2016.
Images from the main Easter Sunday State Commemoration Ceremony for the 100th anniversary of the 1916 Rising
Images of some of the key participants in the 1916 Rising.
President Michael D Higgins laid a wreath in honour of those who died for Irish freedom at the Ceremony of Remembrance, which took place at the Garden of Remembrance.
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