Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood provides affordable healthcare to 2.5 million women and men each year. Services include sex education and family planning, breast exams, pap tests, and tests and treatments for sexually transmitted diseases. Three percent of all services are abortion services. Planned Parenthood receives $500 million per year in federal funding through Medicaid and Title X (which is 40% of their budget). Title X does not allow federal funds to be used for abortions. Medicaid does not allow federal funds to be used for abortions except in very restricted cases, such as to protect the life of the mother.

The organization has been a target of Republican politicians who have grown more vocal after the release of undercover videos taken by the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress. The videos claimed that Planned Parenthood sold fetal tissue for profit. (8/5/15 NPR.org) Planned Parenthood sued, saying that the videos were heavily edited. No investigation at the federal or state level ever showed that Planned Parenthood did anything wrong. (7/26/16 New York Times)

Donald Trump has switched positions on his support for Planned Parenthood over the past year, initially praising the group for the health services it provides, while at the same time, vowing to eliminate funding for the organization. 

Timeline 

Analysis

Donald Trump appears to be unclear about how the Supreme Court functions. He has made statements that indicate he expects Roe v. Wade to be “automatically” overturned when he appoints a justice to fill the spot opened when Antonin Scalia died during President Obama’s term and Republicans refused to consider his appointee. When pressed, Trump conceded that women in need of abortion services could go to another state for those services. 

  • 2016.04.03 "Donald Trump Took Five Different Positions on Abortion in Three Days" (Source: Washington Post) Trump says that women who receive abortions should be punished. Later that day he says that he is "pro-life with exceptions." An hour later he clarifies that if abortion is made illegal, doctors who perform abortions should be punished and not the women who have abortions. The next day he says that the issue of abortion rights should be left up to the states. Later he explains that he will "change the law through his judicial appointments."
  • 2016.10.19 "Donald Trump's Abortion Comments Caused Quite a Stir" (Source: Fortune) 
    "Trump then elaborated to say his appointment of pro-life Justices would lead to Roe v. Wade being over-turned 'automatically.' That comment, in turn, produced puzzlement in the legal community, who pointed out that the Supreme Court doesn't work in this fashion—that decisions are not changed 'automatically' with new judges."
  • 2016.11.24 "Chasing Abortion Rights Across State Lines" (Source: New York Times)
    "Mr. Trump spoke accurately: Overturning Roe v Wade would not criminalize abortion, but would leave the question up to the states. There's no doubt that some states would avail themselves of the option of banning abortion; Mississippi defended, all the way up to the Supreme Court last year, its rights to impose regulations that would have concededly shut the state's sole remaining abortion clinic."
  • 2017.01.05 "Donald Trump's Repeal of Obamacare Could Cut Planned Parenthood's Federal Funds" (Source: Chicago Tribune) 
    "Trump sent mixed signals during the campaign about the 100-year-old organization, which provides birth control, abortions and various women's health services. He said "millions of women are helped by Planned Parenthood," but he also endorsed efforts to defund it. Trump once described himself as "very pro-choice." Now he's in the anti-abortion camp. Still, the Republican has been steadfast in calling for repeal of President Barack Obama's health care law, and the GOP-led Congress is eager to comply."
  • 2017.01.19 "A New Attack on Women's Right to Choose" (Source: Bloomberg) A Republican house panel recommends that "the federal government restrict or end medical science performed with human fetal tissue." The recommendation is being criticized by scientists who rely on fetal tissue donations for research, but the house panel report notes: "When the federal government funds research on tissue derived from aborted fetuses...it indirectly supports the practice of abortion itself," thus signalling the message that abortion rights are under increased scrutiny. 
  • 2017.01.06 "Effort to Defund Planned Parenthood Threatens Obamacare Repeal" (Source: CNN) "House Speaker Paul Ryan announced Thursday that Republicans will move to strip all federal funding for Planned Parenthood as part of the process they are using early this year to dismantle Obamacare... Senators Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska won't commit to approving the bill with the Planned Parenthood provision in it."

Assessments

  • 2016.12.13 "Planned Parenthood Is Preparing to Be Defunded Under Trump" (Source: The Cut/NY Magazine)
    "In February, long before he became president-elect, Donald Trump said he would defund Planned Parenthood—despite the fact that it helps 'millions and millions of women'—because of 'the abortion factor.' He made the pledge in part to win the votes of anti-choice Republicans, and Planned Parenthood officials are preparing for him to make good on it."

Further Research

  • 2017.01.12 "Tenn Woman Pleads Guilty to Felony in Attempted Coat Hanger Abortion" (Source: Washington Post) A pregnant woman attempted to self abort at home and was charged with murder of her 24-week fetus and held in jail for a year awaiting trial. Tennessee has strict abortion laws and few abortion clinics. There are no clinics in this woman's county. 
  • 2017.01.13 "Meet the Leaders of Trump Resistance" (Source: Rolling Stone) "'We are preparing as though the Trump administration is going to do everything within its executive power' to attack reproductive rights, says Ilyse Hogue, president of NARAL. .... NARAL is focused on creating 'asylum zones' in cities and states where women can be confident of accessing reproductive services." 
  • 2017.01.14 "Lexington’s EMW Women’s Clinic, One of Two Kentucky Abortion Providers, Is Closing" (Source: Lexington Herald Leader) The clinic will close on January 27. It has been closed since June, due to an anonymous complaint, after which inspectors deemed the clinic unlicensed. The state of Kentucky now has one clinic that can perform abortions, located in Louisville.