Donald Trump retracts abortion comments after angering pro-life and pro-choice groups

Republican U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a Town Hall in Janesville, Wisconsin March 29, 2016. | REUTERS / Kamil Krzaczynski

Donald Trump has retracted his comments supporting punishment for women who have abortions, after igniting the fury of both pro-life and pro-choice groups.

Republican presidential frontrunner Donald Trump is now seeking to clarify his position on abortion. While he initially said that women who undergo abortion should be punished, he has now released a statement admitting that he could have "misspoken" about the topic, according to ABC News.

"It could be that I misspoke," Trump told Eric Bolling of Fox News. "But this was a long, convoluted subject."

During a town hall taping held by MSNBC, host Chris Matthews repeatedly asked him if there should be punishment if abortion was banned. The billionaire said the woman should be punished, but the punishment has yet to be determined.

However, Trump's campaign later on released another statement taking back the real estate mogul's original comments. The campaign said the doctor should be the one held responsible for the act, and not the woman. Nevertheless, Trump reiterated that he is still "pro-life with exceptions."

Trump's recent comments on abortion have sparked the ire of both pro-life and pro-choice groups, and of both Democrats and Republicans.

Pro-lifers were disappointed by the billionaire's initial comments because they think the doctor or medic performing the abortion should be the one to bear the punishment and the woman should receive "healing and compassion."

Pro-choice groups, on the other hand, see the comments as misogynistic. For them, women should be given access to "safe and legal" abortion, the report relays.

Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz said being pro-life is not just all about the baby, but it is also about caring for the mother. Democratic presidential rivals Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders also slammed Trump for suggesting punishment for women who have abortion.

During a previous debate, Donald Trump had acknowledged the medical help that abortion giant Planned Parenthood is giving to women. However, on Feb. 25, the billionaire said his pro-life stance would prompt him to defund the group.