President Trump is giving Planned Parenthood a choice: you can keep the $500 million you receive in annual federal funding if you discontinue abortion services.
The New York Times reported that not only did the White House give this ultimatum, Planned Parenthood officials rejected it.
“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 New York 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.”
President Trump confirmed the discussions with Planned Parenthood took place in a statement, saying, “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.”
He continued. “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.”
While daughter Ivanka Trump has no formal role in her father’s administration, she’s been an informal adviser on women’s issues, specifically on women’s health. While the First Daughter is pushing for child care reform, she was reportedly able to nudge the president to tread carefully when it comes to Planned Parenthood.
During the course of the campaign, then-candidate Trump praised the work of Planned Parenthood for the work they do outside of providing abortions.
“Millions and millions of women — cervical cancer, breast cancer — are helped by Planned Parenthood,” Trump said during a CNN debate in February 2016. “I would defund it because I’m pro-life, but millions of women are helped by Planned Parenthood.”
It hasn’t been reported on whether the President has responded with a counter-offer to Planned Parenthood or put in motion plans to strip federal funding. In January, Trump signed an executive order that would strip funding to organizations that promote abortion around the world, including the International Planned Parenthood Foundation.