Donald Trump suggested he would not support ending taxpayer funding of Planned Parenthood’s non-abortion services in two interviews Tuesday.
“We have to help women,” Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity in an interview that aired Tuesday night. “So we have to look at the positives, also, for Planned Parenthood.”
Trump said he opposes federal grants going toward Planned Parenthood’s abortion practices, but noted that abortions make up a “small part” of the organization.
“There’s two Planned Parenthoods, in a way,” he said. “You have it as an abortion clinic. Now that’s actually a fairly small part of what they do, but it’s a brutal part. And I’m totally against it and I wouldn’t do that. They also, however, service women.”
Hannity asked Trump why taxpayers should fund the group given its role in providing abortions.
“Maybe unless they stop with the abortions, we don’t do the funding for the stuff that we want,” he said. “I’m totally against the abortion aspect of Planned Parenthood, but I’ve had many women, I’ve had many Republican, conservative women come up and say Planned Parenthood serves a good function, other than that one aspect.”
He told CNN earlier in the day he would examine the Planned Parenthood’s practices to determine the “good aspects” that help women.
“I’m sure they do some things properly and good and that are good for women, and I would look at that, and I would look at other aspects also,” he said. “But we have to take care of women.”
Federal law prohibits the more than $500 million Planned Parenthood receives in taxpayer dollars annually from going toward abortions. Trump maintained this position, saying he felt “strongly” about barring government funding from that aspect.
Trump appeared to support shutting down the government rather than fund Planned Parenthood in an interview last week. “Asked directly by conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt if it’s worth shutting down the federal government to strip Planned Parenthood’s $528 million in government funding, Trump replied: ‘I would,’” Politico reported.
Planned Parenthood released a statement Tuesday lauding Trump’s comments, urging Republicans to “reconsider their extreme and unpopular positions on defunding preventative care” and “abortion bans.”
“Donald Trump seems to have realized that banning all abortions, shutting down the government, and defunding Planned Parenthood are extreme positions that are way too far outside the mainstream for even him to take,” Planned Parenthood spokesman Eric Ferrero said in a statement.