Current Republican frontrunner Donald Trump said that while he opposes abortion, he understands that Planned Parenthood helps a lot of women and we “have to look at the positives.” The women’s health organization currently had a 15 percent favorability rating — higher than any of the GOP presidential candidates.
Fox News host Sean Hannity asked the business mogul during an extended interview Tuesday night if half a billion dollars of taxpayer money should continue to go toward funding the abortion provider.
“They do good things,” Trump said, interrupting the question.
“Let’s say there’s two Planned Parenthoods in a way,” Trump continued. “You have it as an abortion clinic. Now that’s actually a fairly small part of what they do but it’s a brutal part and I’m totally against it and I wouldn’t do that. They also, however, service women.”
He went on to criticize former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R), who said last week while criticizing Planned Parenthood that he’s “not sure we need half a billion dollars for women’s health issues.”
“He was so bad,” Trump said. “It’s like, what is he doing? We have to help women. A lot of women are helped. So we have to look at the positives also for Planned Parenthood.”
Watch the interview with Trump:
Trump appears to be backpedaling on previous comments he made in which he said that withholding funding from the women’s reproductive health organization is so important, the government should be shut down until an agreement to defund the organization is reached.
A recent NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll found that Planned Parenthood has a much higher favorability rating than any of the Republican candidates for president. While the organization is polling at 15 percent, the candidates range from Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who captured the top GOP favorability rating of 5 percent, to Donald Trump, who had a net negative 30 percent rating.
Denouncing Planned Parenthood has become a popular position for the Republican presidential candidates since an anti-abortion group released a series of misleading videos claiming that the organization’s program that donates fetal tissue from aborted fetuses to medical research is equivalent to “selling aborted baby parts.” Many of the candidates, other than Trump, have taken the argument a step further and have claimed that women’s reproductive health care is not an important enough reason to fund the organization.
Planned Parenthood says that abortions account for just 3 percent of its services. Meanwhile, the organization says that 80 percent of its clients receive services to prevent unintended pregnancy and it provides nearly 400,000 Pap tests and nearly 500,000 breast exams each year.