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Report: Pence says White House wants to use Obamacare replacement to defund Planned Parenthood

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Vice President Mike Pence addresses a rally before the start of the 44th annual March for Life Jan. 27 in Washington, D.C. According to CBS News, senior administration officials said Pence has told Republican lawmakers and pro-life activists that the administration wants the American Health Care Act to include language stripping federal funds from Planned Parenthood. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Vice President Mike Pence has indicated that the White House wants use the House Republicans' Obamacare replacement legislation as a vehicle to defund Planned Parenthood, CBS News reported Thursday night.

According to CBS News, senior administration officials said Pence has told Republican lawmakers and pro-life activists that the administration wants the American Health Care Act to include language stripping federal funds from Planned Parenthood.

The report came after a New York Times report earlier this week suggesting President Donald Trump is hesitant to defund Planned Parenthood. The Times reported that the Trump administration floated allowing Planned Parenthood to continue receiving federal funds — possibly even additional funds — if they ceased performing abortions.

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

Planned Parenthood promptly rejected the deal, which, the Times noted, the administration never formally offered.

In a Thursday fundraising email, Planned Parenthood President and CEO Cecile Richards called the deal “obscene and insulting.”

Pence met with pro-life groups Thursday, according to the White House. He reportedly addressed their concerns about preserving Hyde Amendment language — which bars the use of Medicaid funds to pay for elective abortion procedures — during the meeting.

This post has been updated.

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