Trump: Planned Parenthood can keep federal funding if it nixes abortions

Planned Parenthood protest

Charlotte Cooper/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

It was an offer the healthcare organization had to refuse.

Planned Parenthood is sticking to its mission, even if its services are in financial jeopardy.

On Monday, the New York Times reported that the White House told the healthcare organization it could continue to receive federal funding if it stopped providing abortions, an offer President Donald Trump verified. However, the organization swiftly declined the informal proposal.

“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, told the Times. “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.”

As it stands, the Hyde Amendment already prevents abortions services to be paid for with federal funds—Planned Parenthood patients instead use these funds to pay for other services, such as mammograms and birth control. But that hasn’t stopped Republicans from blocking abortion providers from receiving federal funds through the recently unveiled Obamacare replacement bill.

As Daily Dot’s Andrew Couts pointed out, the bill prevents Medicaid from being used to reimburse healthcare organizations that provide abortions, even if they provide other healthcare services. The bill does make an exception for abortions performed in the case of rape, incest, or if the pregnancy is endangering the mother’s life, but effectively defunds Planned Parenthood nonetheless.

The bill also includes a measure to prevent private health insurance companies from providing abortion coverage, even if the person covered doesn’t get an abortion.

“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 nonabortion services such as cancer screenings,” Trump told the New York Times. “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.”

According to a national Quinnipiac University poll published in January, only 31 percent of voters supported defunding Planned Parenthood, contrasting 62 percent that opposed it. When the 31 percent were asked if they were aware that federal funds are only used for non-abortion services at the healthcare nonprofit, 58 percent of them changed their minds, leaving only 12 percent to continue to support the defunding of Planned Parenthood.

H/T the Cut

Samantha Grasso

Samantha Grasso

Samantha Grasso is a former IRL staff writer for the Daily Dot with a reporting emphasis on immigration. Her work has appeared on Los Angeles Magazine, Death And Taxes, Revelist, Texts From Last Night, Austin Monthly, and she has previously contributed to Texas Monthly.