From waterboarding to the Pope, Donald Trump’s remarkably successful presidential run has been all about bombastic, take-no-prisoners rhetoric. But there’s one area in which Trump stands out for how moderate he sounds.
In the context of a presidential campaign where vilifying Planned Parenthood has become something of a Republican cottage industry, what Donald Trump said about the organization on “Meet the Press” Sunday makes him seem like a women’s health advocate.
“They do some very good work,” Trump, referring to Planned Parenthood, said. “Cervical cancer, lots of women’s issue, women’s health issues are taken care of.”
Trump is the only Republican presidential hopeful willing to offer praise of any sort for Planned Parenthood’s work. But don’t let that fool you — he, like the other Republican candidates still in the race, favors defunding the organization so long as it provides abortion services.
During yesterday’s NBC appearance, Trump added, “Planned Parenthood does a really good job at a lot of different areas. But not on abortion. So I’m not going to fund it if it’s doing the abortion. I am not going to fund it.”
(The discussion about Planned Parenthood begins at about the 2:40 mark)
In a statement printed in The Huffington Post, Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, lumped Trump in with the other Republican presidential candidates.
“Just like every other Republican candidate, Trump would block patients from accessing reproductive care at Planned Parenthood, ban safe, legal abortion, and cut insurance coverage of birth control, meaning women would pay an estimated $1.4 billion more a year to cover their birth control,” she said.
Trump’s comments about Planned Parenthood came on the same day that another Republican presidential candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, signed a bill that will effectively defund the organization in his state. On the campaign trail, Kasich has tried to avoid talking about abortion.
A multi-year study recently released by the Texas Policy Evaluation Project indicates low-income women living in states that have defunded Planned Parenthood are disproportionately harmed, as they’re sometimes left with nowhere to go for affordable contraceptive services.