In an interview with CNN this morning, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump appeared to flip-flop on taxpayer funding of the Planned Parenthood abortion business a “abortion factory” and said government shouldn’t be funding it. But Trump also said he would be open to funding Planned Parenthood’s few non-abortion activities, something he is going to have to explain and clarify in the future.
“The problem that I have with Planned Parenthood is the abortion situation. It is like an abortion factory, frankly,” Trump said. “And you can’t have it. And you just shouldn’t be funding it. That should not be funded by the government, and I feel strongly about that.”
When asked about the smaller non-abortion component of what Planned Parenthood does, Trump appeared to be alright with taxpayer funding.
“What I would do when the time came, I’d look at the individual things they do, and maybe some of the individual things they do are good. I know a lot of the things are bad. But certainly the abortion aspect of it should not be funded by government, absolutely,” he said.
Trump added, “I would look at the good aspects of [Planned Parenthood], and I would also look, because I’m sure they do some things properly and good and that are good for women, and I would look at that, and I would look at other aspects also. But we have to take care of women.”
The problem is that the $550 million in taxpayer dollars the Planned Parenthood abortion business currently receives comes under the auspices of family planning funding and technically can’t be used to pay for abortions — though it frees up Planned Parenthood funds to promote and perform abortions. That has some pro-life advocates saying Trump is essentially supporting the satus quo right now — where the Hyde Amendment prohibits abortion funding but Planned Parenthood still receives well over $550 million in taxpayer funds.
The Planned Parenthood abortion business responded to Trumps comments and took them to mean that he flip-flopped on taxpayer funding.
“Donald Trump seems to have realized that banning all abortions, shutting down the government, and defunding Planned Parenthood are extreme positions that are way too far outside the mainstream for even him to take,” said spokesman Eric Ferrero in a statement.
“We hope that the rest of the GOP field will wake up and reconsider their extreme and unpopular positions on defunding preventive care, abortion bans, and the other economic issues that women and their families care about,” Ferrero added
Lila Rose, the head of LiveAction, a pro-life activist group, also took Trumps comments as changing his previous stance supporting abortion funding.
She told LifeNews.com: “Trump’s vacillation on Planned Parenthood funding is deeply troubling, and reveals an ignorance about their horrific abortion practices–their killing over 320,000 children a year, and bartering to sell the body parts of those they abort. It’s obvious from Mr. Trump’s comments that he has not watched the Planned Parenthood videos released by Center for Medical Progress. That is the only way he could recommend to continue funding this abortion conglomerate that is totally unnecessary and any organization that engages in these human rights abuses does not deserve a penny of tax payers’ money. It would be better spent on health services that would save the lives of women and babies. I challenge Mr. Trump to watch the videos.”
Where pro-life presidential candidates stand on de-funding Planned Parenthood is important given that a new pro-life president is necessary to de-fund the abortion business since Democrats in the Senate are blocking legislation to de-fund it.
In an interview last week, Trump was more strongly in favor of de-funding Planned Parenthood. He was asked on “The Hugh Hewitt” show Monday night if he supported shutting down the federal government in order to de-fund Planned Parenthood.
“Well I can tell you this: I would,” Trump replied.
Last month, in an interview, Trump told Dana Loesch that Planned Parenthood should be defunded in light of the recent videos showing their top executives negotiating the sale of aborted babies’ body parts.
Trump said, “It’s disgusting. And absolutely they should be defunded. I thought it was so cavalier, so horrible.”
In the past, Trump has shared that he is pro-life on abortion. For example, in January he said, “I’m pro-life and I have been pro-life. It’s an issue and a strong issue.” However, Trump admits that at one time he wasn’t against abortion but changed his mind after developing relationships with close friends who have children.
In an interview with the Des Moines Register newspaper, he explained, “If you look at it, I said, ‘It really, really troubles me, and it really, really bothers me, the whole concept of abortion.’ This was years ago, and even then it really bothered me, but I went on the other side of the line,” Trump said. “But in thinking about it over the years, I’ve had instances, and one instance in particular, a friend had a child who they were going to abort, and now they have it, and the child is incredible. And the man, he changed his views also because of that.”
“As I’ve grown older, as I’ve seen things happen in life, I’ve changed my views — and others have also,” he said.