President Donald Trump’s administration has reportedly offered to preserve Planned Parenthood’s funding if the organization promises to stop providing abortions, a deal the women’s health organization quickly rejected.
The deal, which was first reported by the New York Times, would be a way for the Trump administration to appease pro-life Republicans while maintaining support for Planned Parenthood, an organization that is viewed somewhat positively by both President Trump and his daughter Ivanka Trump.
Planned Parenthood receives $500 million in annual federal funding, which goes towards funding women’s health care but is not used for abortions. White House officials reportedly even suggested an increase in federal funding if the organization agreed to stop performing abortions altogether.
“The White House proposal that Planned Parenthood stop providing abortion is the same demand opponents of women’s health have been pushing for decades, as a part of their long-standing effort to end women’s access to safe, legal abortion,” Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards said in a statement. “Planned Parenthood has always stood strong against these attacks on our patients and their ability to access the full range of reproductive health care.”
The White House confirmed the deal offer in a statement to the Times.
“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,” President Trump said in a statement. “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.” Congressional Republicans have repeatedly vowed to “defund” the women’s health organization.
Unlike most of his Republican challengers, Trump has repeatedly spoken positively about Planned Parenthood even as he maintained his anti-abortion stance. In a February 2016 primary debate, he said that “millions of women are helped by Planned Parenthood,” and specifically mentioned cancer screenings. Ivanka has reportedly made women’s issues her focus in her father’s administration, even though she does not have an official White House role.