The White House reportedly told Planned Parenthood that they’ll abandon plans to defund Planned Parenthood — if the reproductive health organization stops providing abortion services.
Planned Parenthood currently receives about $500 million in federal funding annually, none of which goes to paying for abortions. Today, the New York Times reports that the White House told Planned Parenthood officials that their federal funding, which has been under threat by the Republican Congress, could be saved if they stopped providing abortion services at their clinics.
No formal offer was made, the paper says, but the organization was swift in issuing a statement saying that they wouldn’t consider any offer that compromised the services they offered to their patients.
“Let’s be clear, federal funds already do not pay for abortions,” Dawn Laguens, the executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said on Monday. “Offering money to Planned Parenthood to abandon our patients and our values is not a deal that we will ever accept. Providing critical health care services for millions of American women is nonnegotiable.”
The Times also reported that the White House suggested to Planned Parenthood that their federal funding could even get a boost if they were to stop providing abortion services.
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It is thought, the Times reports, that Trump’s previous words of support for Planned Parenthood — at least, compared to his Republican competitors on the campaign trail — are the work of his daughter, Ivanka Trump, who, though she has no official role in the Trump administration, has made women’s issue her cause in the White House. Trump himself supported abortion rights until 2011.
Trump issued a statement to the New York Times on Monday that confirmed that talks had been taking place.
“As I said throughout the campaign, I am pro-life and I am deeply committed to investing in women’s health and plan to significantly increase federal funding in support of non-abortion services such as cancer screenings,” he said. “Polling shows the majority of Americans oppose public funding for abortion, even those who identify as pro-choice. There is an opportunity for organizations to continue the important work they do in support of women’s health, while not providing abortion services.”