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Pro-lifers respond to Planned Parenthood’s rejection of Trump administration funding deal

Pro-life supporters protest outside the US Supreme Court during the 44th annual March for Life on January 27, 2017 in Washington, DC. (Zach Gibson/AFP/Getty Images)

Pro-life activists are firing back after Planned Parenthood rejected a Trump administration deal that would have allowed them to keep their federal funding if they stopped performing abortions.

Even if Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, were to stop performing abortions, some pro-life activists say that the organization still shouldn’t be a recipient of federal funds. They said Planned Parenthood’s business model is too centered on abortion for them to transition to a wholistic health care provider for women. Also, they note that there are too many scandals swirling around the organization — including allegations of Medicaid fraud and failure to report statutory rape to law enforcement — to justify giving the group taxpayer dollars.

The New York Times reported Monday that President Donald Trump’s administration, hesitant to defund Planned Parenthood, proposed a deal that would allow the organization to keep its federal funding if they stopped performing abortions. There were even suggestions of additional funds for the group if they agreed, according to the Times.

Trump confirmed the proposal in a statement to the Times, saying “There is an opportunity for organizations to continue the important work they do in support of women’s health, while not providing abortion services.”

According to the New York Times, administration officials viewed the deal as a means to strike a balance between his “conservative base” and “the views of his daughter Ivanka Trump,” although she has no formal role in the administration. As a sort of informal adviser to the president, “she was able to nudge Mr. Trump toward a nuanced view of Planned Parenthood’s work.”

The deal, which, the Times noted, "was never made formally," was promptly rejected by Planned Parenthood soon after the report was published.

In a statement, Planned Parenthood President and CEO Cecile Richards said, “The White House proposal that Planned Parenthood stop providing abortion is the same demand opponents of women’s health have been pushing for decades, as a part of their long-standing effort to end women’s access to safe, legal abortion."

“Planned Parenthood has always stood strong against these attacks on our patients and their ability to access the full range of reproductive health care,” Richards said, adding that her organization is “glad that the White House understands that taking away the preventive care Planned Parenthood provides is deeply unpopular and would be a disaster for women’s health care.”

Pro-life activists said that Planned Parenthood's rejection of the deal is evidence that they prioritize abortion over other health services.

Kristin Hawkins, president of Students for Life, told TheBlaze, "As good of a deal maker as President Trump is, there is no way to negotiate with Planned Parenthood, a scandal-ridden organization whose very ideology is built around abortion.”

“This isn't one issue of many for them, it's the only issue for them,” Hawkins said. “Abortion is their holy crusade.

She added that “while the deal was meant to fulfill a campaign promise, pro-lifers want zero tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood.”

“Abortion is their bread and butter but a laundry list of unsavory business practices has defined them, from aiding and abetting sex traffickers to covering up child rape and abuse to over billing Medicaid by hundreds of millions of dollars,” Hawkins alleged. “Women deserve better than Planned Parenthood."

David Daleiden, the founder of the Center for Medical Progress, said in a statement that Planned Parenthood “showed how extreme their abortion business really is when they refused President Trump’s offer of more federal funding if they terminated their abortion program, which is the largest the country but which they claim is “only 3%” of their business.”

Daleiden pointed to his organization’s undercover videos showing Planned Parenthood executives appearing to negotiate the price of aborted fetal body parts as evidence that taxpayers shouldn’t fund the group.

“When asked to choose between full-spectrum, mainstream healthcare for women and families, or late-term abortions and selling baby body parts, Planned Parenthood chose the latter,” he said. “American taxpayers should no longer be forced to prop up Planned Parenthood’s corrupt and criminal abortion empire, exposed by CMP’s undercover videos of Planned Parenthood’s senior-level leadership and documented in the House Select Panel’s and Senate Judiciary Committee’s investigations, which have referred them to the FBI and DOJ for criminal prosecution.”

Profiting from the sale of aborted fetal body parts is illegal in the United States. Planned Parenthood has denied any illegal conduct.

“Taxpayer dollars should be reassigned to mainstream, full-spectrum health care centers, and Planned Parenthood must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law,” Daleiden added.

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