President Trump Makes Planned Parenthood an Absurd Offer

March 6th 2017

Kyle Fitzpatrick

President Donald Trump is trying to make a deal with Planned Parenthood — one that would undercut the health care provider's commitment to ensuring reproductive rights.

The New York Times reports that the White House is willing to work with Planned Parenthood Federation of America by continuing their funding under one condition: no more abortions.

Over 40 percent of Planned Parenthood's funding comes from government — at the state, local and federal level. But the group isn't about to abandon its commitment to providing abortion services to make a deal with the president.

“Offering money to Planned Parenthood to abandon our patients and our values is not a deal that we will ever accept,” Dawn Laguens, the group's executive vice president, told the Times. “Providing critical health care services for millions of American women is nonnegotiable.”

Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, echoed this in her statement on the subject: “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.”

The reported deal begs the question: what would happen if Planned Parenthood did stop providing abortions?

It’s important to note that Planned Parenthood is about much more tna abortions, which only account for 3 percent of services (as Trump himself acknowledged last year), coming out to 324,000 procedures in 2014. However, that's more than a third of the 920,000 abortions that are provided a year in the U.S., making Planned Parenthood a big target for those opposed to reproductive rights.

Abortions are actually on the decline, though. Paired with rising contraceptive use that reduce unintended pregnancy, the procedure simply isn’t as common as it once was.

If Planned Parenthood were to stop providing abortions, it would exacerbate a problem of availability, considering 90 percent of counties in the U.S. do not have a clinic offering the service. Of the 650 Planned Parenthood centers, only 3 percent offer abortion services, and federal law already blocks funding for abortion services.

What we can say about Trump's reported deal is that it's an offer that seeks to appeal to those who oppose choice and see Planned Parenthood as synonymous with abortions.