This week, President Trump proposed significant changes for Planned Parenthood in exchange for a promise of continued and potentially increased federal funding in the future. His propositions were not taken kindly by supporters of the health care provider’s mission. Here’s what you need to know.

President Trump identifies as pro-life. He also claims to be an advocate for women’s health. Trump made 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 non abortion services such as cancer screenings.” Trump has said his eldest daughter, Ivanka, is his adviser on “women’s issues,” although the First Daughter has not made a statement on her father’s proposed reforms to the services Planned Parenthood offers. However, Ivanka has been known to encourage her father to tread lightly when it comes to Planned Parenthood, and the issues surrounding them.

The changes proposed by President Trump were made by the White House, instead of with a formal proposal or request. Trump proposed that Planned Parenthood stop offering abortions as a service in their clinics. Trump supported his proposal by citing polls which found that the majority of voters, even those who identify as pro-choice, do not support federal funding going towards abortion services. In exchange for the removal of abortion services, President Trump suggested that Planned Parenthood could expect greater Republican support and continued federal funding. Trump even suggested that he might move for increased funding in the future for the women’s health care provider should they agree to his terms. This would prove to be a sharp contrast to the severe scrutiny the organization has come under in the past from Republicans and pro-life supporters.

President of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, commented sharply to President Trump’s proposal in a series of tweets saying “Planned Parenthood is proud to provide abortion—a necessary service that’s as vital to our mission as birth control or cancer screenings” saying “Federal funds do not pay for abortion. At Planned Parenthood, we don’t agree with this harmful policy—but it’s the law & we follow it.” Richards later added “We won’t back down in the face of threats or intimidation, or turn our backs on the patients who count on us. Not today, tomorrow, not ever”… “We believe protecting the ability of women to determine our own futures is not only a Planned Parenthood value – it’s an American value.” Richards was not the only one who took to Twitter to defend her beliefs on the issue. Thousands of users flocked to Twitter to show their support of Planned Parenthood using the hashtag “#IStandWithPP” to share their distaste for the suggested removal of abortion services from clinics.

This proposal comes in the wake of the GOP reforms to Obamacare which has millions in the United States worried about their potential loss of healthcare in the near future. We may, in the future, see a move by the majority party to “defund Planned Parenthood” if they elect to stand by their stated mission, as President Cecile Richards says they will do, instead of making moves to compromise.

While many have shared opinions on both sides of the issue, the suggested change to Planned Parenthood is just that, a suggestion, and has had no impact thus far on the services they offer. It is likely that we will not see a change to their offerings either, as their leaders have continually supported and defended Planned Parenthood’s stated mission and provided services.

Corrie L
FFL Cabinet Member
Corrie is a Cabinet Member at FFL. She enjoys long walks to Starbucks and is always checking her planner to see what's next. If she isn't talking about law school, being a Camel, or FFL, she's out trying to turn hard work into chicken nuggets.

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