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Trump: Does Not Disagree With 'Abortion Is Murder'

FILE - Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event in the atrium of the Old Post Office Pavilion, soon to be a Trump International Hotel, March 21, 2016, in Washington.

Donald Trump, the American billionaire Republican Party presidential front-runner, says he does not disagree with those who say abortion is "murder."

In a interview with the CBS news program Face the Nation to be aired Sunday, Trump says he has his own opinion on the issue, but would rather not comment on it.

Excerpts from the interview were released Friday.

Controversial positions

Earlier in the week, Trump shocked many when he said if abortions were outlawed, women who received them should be punished. He quickly backpedaled from that controversial position after a wave of criticism, saying later that doctors who perform abortions should be punished if abortions are outlawed.

The Supreme Court upheld a woman's right to have an abortion more than 40 years ago, but many people are seeking to have that ruling overturned.

In the Face the Nation interview, Trump says abortion "laws are set now" and will remain that way until they are changed.

Change the law

Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks said the presidential candidate meant that abortion laws will not change until he is president. "Then he will change the law through his judicial appointments and allow the states to protect the unborn," she said. He did not make that distinction in his interview, Hicks said.

Ilyse Hogue, the president of NARAL Pro-Choice America - an abortion rights group - said "We know that misogyny will rule in a Trump White House and that never bodes well for reproductive health care or advancing women's equality."

WATCH: Under Fire Over Abortion, Trump Has Rocky Week

Under Fire Over Abortion, Trump Has Rocky Week
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