In his final swing through Wisconsin before the state's Tuesday presidential primary, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz said states should be allowed to ban abortion even in cases of rape and incest.
Cruz took questions from Fox News host Megyn Kelly and audience members at a town hall event Monday at the Madison Masonic Center.
Early in the event, a woman who described herself as a moderate, pro-choice Republican told Cruz she's afraid if he becomes president he will outlaw abortion entirely.
Cruz said he wants to see people's hearts and minds changed on the issue. He argued laws should be changed at the state level, not through judicial decisions.
He also said he believes the Supreme Court's Roe v. Wade decision is not settled law, calling it an example of judicial activism.
Kelly then noted that Cruz doesn't favor exceptions to allow abortion in cases of rape or incest.
"When it comes to rape, rape is a horrific crime against the humanity of a person, and needs to be punished and punished severely," Cruz said. "But at the same time, as horrible as that crime is, I don't believe it's the child's fault. And we weep at the crime, we want to do everything we can to prevent the crime on the front end, and to punish the criminal, but I don't believe it makes sense to blame the child."
Cruz took the question as an opportunity to criticize his Republican foe, real estate mogul Donald Trump, who said last week that if abortion were illegal, women ought to be punished for having one.
Trump later walked back his statement, saying he believes abortion should be illegal but that abortion providers and not the women who receive them should be punished
Cruz said Trump's comments were the words of a liberal trying to say what conservatives want to hear. He argued that women are victims of abortion, and said no conservative wants to see women punished.
Over the weekend, Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards campaigned for Democratic former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She argued that women are already being punished by laws that make it increasingly difficult to obtain an abortion.
Richards, speaking at a private event on Saturday, said there is "not a daylight of difference between Donald Trump and Ted Cruz and John Kasich" on the issue.
Cruz was joined on Monday by two former presidential candidates now supporting him: Gov. Scott Walker and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina.
He plans to await Wisconsin's primary results at Serb Hall in Milwaukee, according to his campaign.
The full interview and town hall event is set to air Monday night during Kelly's 8 p.m. show.