Walsh told reporters Thursday after his debate with Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth he opposed all abortion because medical advances eliminated any need to perform an abortion to save a mother's life, the Chicago Tribune reported.
"With modern technology and science, you can't find one instance," Walsh said. "There is no such exception as life of the mother, and as far as health of the mother, same thing."
Duckworth's campaign manager, Kaitlin Fahey, sent an email to supporters saying Walsh's views are "extreme and out of touch."
Planned Parenthood Action Fund Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens issued a statement saying, "Walsh's ignorance about women's health is alarming.
"It is deeply troubling that he and some politicians have such a fundamental disregard for women and women's health," Laguens said.
Walsh, who was elected to Congress in 2010 with support from the Tea Party, posted a statement on his campaign website Friday saying he wanted to "clarify" the comments he made Thursday.
"I want to make it very clear that I am in fact pro-life without exception," he said.
"Let me very clear that when I say I am pro-life, I mean that I am pro-life for the mother and I am pro-life for the unborn child," he said.
"When it comes to having an abortion to save the life of a mother, I will say again that, outside of the very rare circumstances such as ectopic pregnancies, during which both the mother and baby will die if the baby is not aborted, and other rare health issues, the research is pretty clear that with the advances in modern medicine, an invasive and traumatic procedure like an abortion is not necessary to save the life of a mother," Walsh said.
"In those very rare cases where a mother's life may be in danger past the point of viability for the baby, today's doctors work to induce labor or perform a Caesarean section in an attempt to save BOTH lives. These cases are extremely rare, and they unfortunately are used by the militant pro-choice movement to justify every single abortion."