Another day? Another position on abortion for Donald Trump.
A week ago, Trump called for a government shutdown in order to defund Planned Parenthood. But just yesterday, Trump told CNN that the government should fund the “good aspects” of Planned Parenthood because we “have to take care of women.”
Planned Parenthood immediately praised Trump’s comments — and of course it did, they sound exactly like Planned Parenthood talking points — and used them to criticize the rest of the GOP presidential candidates.
Ugh. So here’s the problem: Donald Trump is buying into Planned Parenthood’s narrative about abortion funding.
Trump’s comments effectively endorse the status quo. Planned Parenthood constantly touts the idea that, because of the Hyde Amendment, the government does not technically allow taxpayer funding for abortion.
This is a misnomer and an accounting trick.
Planned Parenthood receives $528 million each year in taxpayer funding, which represents nearly half of its total budget. Planned Parenthood argues that it uses its taxpayer funding to pay for its other services, while its private funding and year-to-year profits pay for its abortion services.
But let’s not kid ourselves. We all know how this works, right? Let’s use an example.
If a ten-year-old boy has $20 in his piggy bank and has to buy school lunches for the next two weeks, he has no choice but to use that $20 for school lunches.
But if his grandma gives him an additional $20 — under the condition that he only spends it on school lunches — guess what happens? Suddenly that $20 he has in his piggy bank can be used to buy chocolate!
That’s what’s happening with Planned Parenthood. By giving it taxpayer funding under the premise that it won’t use it for abortion, we’re enabling Planned Parenthood to use the rest of their funding almost entirely for abortion. And that’s exactly what they’re doing.
Fifty-one percent of Planned Parenthood’s clinic income comes from abortion. Make no mistake: this is an abortion monolith, and we are subsidizing it.
Trump is a shrewd businessman. He knows how this works. So it’s disappointing to see him parroting the same talking points that Planned Parenthood does.
Don’t forget, Trump has been all over the place on the issue of abortion. In 1999, he appeared on “Meet the Press”, defended partial-birth abortion, and said, “I am very pro-choice in every respect.”
We have no idea what Donald Trump would do as President when it comes to abortion. Absolutely no idea. He could be pro-choice, he could be pro-life, but we just don’t know. That’s a scary thought for anyone who cares about this issue.
Jon Schweppe is Deputy Director of Communications for American Principles in Action.