WASHINGTON, D.C., August 11, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – Donald Trump has said that Planned Parenthood is “an abortion factory,” but that he may continue funding the non-abortion aspect of their business if he is elected president.
The series of changes and charges stems from a verbal gaffe made by Jeb Bush last week, when he said he questioned whether America needs to spend half-a-billion dollars treating women's health. He said he meant to say that he questioned whether American taxpayers should give that much money to Planned Parenthood annually.
Donald Trump, who is leading Jeb in the polls, said that Jeb's misstatement proved that he, not Trump, had a problem with female voters.
On this morning's edition of CNN's New Day program, Chris Cuomo asked Trump whether this meant that he believed Planned Parenthood should be funded.
Trump responded, “The biggest problem I have with Planned Parenthood is the abortion situation. I mean, it's like an abortion factory, frankly.”
Cuomo, the son of former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, responded that “abortion is only three percent” of what Planned Parenthood does.
Trump responded that “maybe some of the things are good and I know a lot of things are bad.”
“The abortion aspect of Planned Parenthood…absolutely should not be funded,” he said.
Taxpayer dollars fund Planned Parenthood's abortion businesses only in states that allow Medicaid coverage of abortion. According to the Guttmacher Institute, 17 states underwrite abortion with taxpayers' dollars in cases in which they are deemed “medically necessary,” a term that often means essentially any reason. The federal government allows funding of abortion under the Hyde Amendment in the cases of rape, incest, or to save the life of the mother.
Most taxpayer funding comes under the aegis of Title X “family planning” – something pro-life advocates say should be abolished or redirected to community health providers that do not perform abortions, since money is fungible.
His comments troubled Live Action founder Lila Rose.
“Trump’s vacillation on Planned Parenthood funding is deeply troubling, and reveals an ignorance about their horrific abortion practices,” she said. Federal dollars “would be better spent on health services that would save the lives of women and babies.”
“It’s obvious from Mr. Trump’s comments that he has not watched the Planned Parenthood videos released by Center for Medical Progress,” Rose said. “That's the only way he could recommend funding this abortion conglomerate that is totally unnecessary, and any organization that engages in these human rights abuses does not deserve a penny of taxpayers’ money.”
When Hugh Hewitt asked Trump about the videos, he responded, “I have watched them, yes.” Trump went on to say that the Republicans “have to” be willing to shut down the government in order to defund Planned Parenthood.
Trump also used this morning's interview to say that he strongly disagreed with Republicans who believed there should be no exceptions to pro-life laws, saying five times in succession that he is “for the exceptions.”
“I am for the exceptions. You have the three exceptions. I'm for the exceptions – the health of the mother and life of the mother. I absolutely am for the exceptions,” he said. “I am for the exceptions, yes.”
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Cuomo harshly questioned Marco Rubio about that very topic last Friday, saying, “To not have a carve-out for rape and incest is also something that seems very backward-looking in terms of the cultural mores that we have today.” Rubio strongly defended the pro-life view that a child should be protected regardless of the circumstances of his or her conception.
Trump, who has dominated the polling for the Republican presidential nomination since taking a harsh stand against sanctuary cities, continues to dominate the field, according to an NBC News poll taken after last Thursday's debate. Rubio is at fifth place with approximately one-quarter his support.