US Presidential candidate Donald Trump briefly called for “some form of punishment” for women who have abortions, if it became illegal.
His initial comments made during a town hall event with cable network MSNBC sparked a wave of criticism.
However, Mr Trump quickly reversed his position, saying only the person who performed the abortion should be punished.
But he maintained: “My position has not changed,” BBC News reports.
The front-runner supports a ban on abortions, with certain exceptions.
Abortion has been legal in the United States since 1973 after a landmark Supreme Court ruling.
Only the high court or a constitutional amendment has the power to overturn Roe v Wade and make abortion illegal.
Once a Democrat, Mr Trump has been criticised for supporting abortion rights in the past.