- (Reuters/Brian C. Frank)
Pro-life conservative hopeful Newt Gingrich has clarified controversial comments made last week to ABC News, regarding his views on abortion.
Gingrich told ABC's Jake Tapper that life begins at the "successful implantation of a fertilized egg.”
His comments have confused pro-life Christian conservatives, and have also garnered criticism suggesting that he is a flip-flopper.
In a statement released on his campaign website soon after the interview, Gingrich corrected himself.
"As I have stated many times throughout the course of my public life, I believe that human life begins at conception," as quoted on www.newt.org.
The republican nominee, who hopes to ultimately criminalize abortion, has soared in recent polls – which critics suggest is the result of Herman Cain's recent campaign suspension.
Currently both Gingrich and Mormon conservative, Mitt Romney, have become race front-runners. However, Gingrich told Tapper he is confident that he would win the Republican nomination.
“I’m going to be the nominee...It’s very hard not to look at the recent polls and think that the odds are very high I’m going to be the nominee,” he stated.
Gingrich openly supported the idea of passing a new and politically unpopular federal personhood amendment last month, which received heavy criticism.
The amendment said that a person would legally exist from the moment the egg becomes fertilized by a sperm. Critics have said this is a complicated idea which would result in political confusion and pose legal problems.
Gingrich has also received criticism for his stance on immigration.
According to his campaign website, he would prefer to deal with illegal immigrants on a case-by-case basis as opposed to as a whole. Rather than punishing and deporting every single illegal immigrant, Gingrich plans to introduce a "path to legality," which would allow many immigrants the chance to gain residency but not citizenship. However, he has also expressed the need to tighten border security.