- The Washington Times - Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Planned Parenthood has firmly rejected a proposal by President Trump offering to preserve federal funding for the women’s health organization if it stopped providing abortion services.

Mr. Trump reportedly confirmed Monday to The New York Times that an informal proposal was made to Planned Parenthood offering to maintain federal funding — about $500 million each year — if the organization ended abortion procedures. Sources told the newspaper that White House officials even suggested there could be an increase in that funding if they accepted the deal.

Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood’s executive vice president and chief brand officer, told The Times that no federal funds are used to pay for abortions.

“Offering money to Planned Parenthood to abandon our patients and our values is not a deal that we will ever accept,” she said. “Providing critical health care services for millions of American women is nonnegotiable.”

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards immediately responded to The Times’ report on Twitter, saying Planned Parenthood is “proud” to provide abortions services as a “necessary service” for women’s health.

“Planned Parenthood is proud to provide abortion—a necessary service that’s as vital to our mission as birth control or cancer screenings,” she tweeted. “We won’t back down in the face of threats or intimidation, or turn our backs on the patients who count on us. Not today, tomorrow, not ever.”

In a longer statement, Ms. 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 longstanding 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. We are 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.”

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