Abortion appears to have left Donald Trump stumped, with the Republican frontrunner appearing to shift his stance on the matter yet again. His latest clarification on the issue was made during an interview with CBS' John Dickerson on 1 April, with the full interview set to air 3 April.

Trump said: "The laws are set now on abortion and that's the way they're going to remain until they're changed." He added: "I would've preferred states' rights."

"I think it would've been better if it were up to the states," continued Trump. "But right now, the laws are set... At this moment, the laws are set. And I think we have to leave it that way."

When asked by Dickerson whether he disagrees with the notion that abortion is murder, Trump replied: "No, I don't disagree with it."

Trump's campaign spokeswoman, Hope Hicks, insisted that the controversial candidate was giving "an accurate account of the law as it is today and made clear it must stay that way now – until he is president. Then he will change the law through his judicial appointments and allow the states to protect the unborn. There is nothing new or different here."

In fact, Trump has made a series of seemingly contradictory comments on abortion. On 30 April, he told MSNBC's Chris Matthews that women who undergo termination procedures should face "some form of punishment". Following an immediate bipartisan backlash, Trump appeared to have taken notice of even pro-life groups distancing themselves from him.

Just two hours later, he released a statement which reversed his stated support for "some form of punishment" on women. In a statement, Trump said: "If Congress were to pass legislation making abortion illegal and the federal courts upheld this legislation, or any state were permitted to ban abortion under state and federal law, the doctor or any other person performing this illegal act upon a woman would be held legally responsible, not the woman.

"The woman is a victim in this case as is the life in her womb. My position has not changed – like Ronald Reagan, I am pro-life with exceptions."

Barely 48 hours later, Trump went on to give "an accurate account of the law" to Dickerson on "Face the Nation", according to Hicks. Abortion has been legal across the US since a Supreme Court ruling in 1973.

The probability of Trump winning the Republican nomination has taken a significant knock, according to online predictions market PredictIt. His chances of winning the GOP leadership fell to 44% on 1 April, from 67% a week earlier.