Picture: Joe Raedle/Getty Images
Picture: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Republican frontrunner Donald Trump sparked an immediate backlash on Wednesday for implying that women who seek abortions should be punished.

The property mogul made the comments during a town hall in Wisconsin, causing outrage from both pro-choice and pro-life camps for his ignorance over legal responsibilities with patients and doctors when it comes to abortion.

Trump's campaign issued a quick - and rare - backtracking statement.

While it gratified many that Trump actually decided to climb down from the controversial suggestion, it's not good news for the rest of the GOP.

The Republican party's official policy line is that abortion should be illegal - and, for hardliners, that holds true even in cases of foetal disability, rape and incest.

However, as the BBC's Anthony Zurcher points out, it's a PR minefield to campaign for something which could possibly give vulnerable and distressed women dealing with unwanted pregnancies criminal records and prison sentences.

Now Trump's brought the issue into the spotlight - and considering both he and the Republican party are consistently failing to attract women voters, now there's another uphill struggle for the GOP before November's general election.

Picture: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images
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