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His initial comments made during an interview on cable network MSNBC sparked a wave of criticism.
Just hours later, however, Mr Trump issued a statement saying the doctor performing the abortion should be held legally responsible, not the woman.
But he maintained: “My position has not changed.”
Earlier, Mr Trump had 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."
Mr Trump has supported abortion rights in the past, but now supports a ban on abortions, with certain exceptions.
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 criticised 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.
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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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