Planned Parenthood tells Trump it won't end abortions in exchange for continued funding

Planned Parenthood tells Trump it won't end abortions in exchange for continued funding
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Planned Parenthood rejected an offer from President Trump that would allow the organization to keep its federal funding if it stopped providing abortions. 

Planned Parenthood, which receives $500 million in government funding annually for providing women's health services, turned down the offer even as Republicans move closer to defunding the organization. 

“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 President Cecile Richards said in a statement. 

"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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The New York Times first reported Trump's offer. 

Trump has made positive statements about Planned Parenthood in the past, noting that it provides cancer screenings to millions of women. 

But, he said at an event last February, "I would defund it because I'm pro-life," he said. 

Republicans are looking to defund Planned Parenthood through the same reconciliation bill that will repeal ObamaCare. Existing law already prevents Planned Parenthood from receiving federal funding for abortion services.

Reconciliation bills are immune to Democratic filibuster and only need 50 votes to pass, increasing the likelihood that Republicans will succeed in their efforts. 

Still, more moderate GOP senators have expressed concerns about defunding the women's health organization. 

Sen. Lisa MurkowskiLisa Ann MurkowskiSixth GOP senator unlikely to attend Republican convention Koch-backed group urges Senate to oppose 'bailouts' of states in new ads The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Trump backs another T stimulus, urges governors to reopen schools MORE (R-Alaska) said earlier this month she would not support the repeal bill if it included the abortion language. 

Sen. Susan CollinsSusan Margaret CollinsMore Republicans should support crisis aid for the Postal Service GOP senators voice confidence over uphill Senate battle Republicans considering an outdoor stadium for Florida convention: report MORE (R-Maine), who voted against the repeal bill in 2015 because it would have defunded Planned Parenthood, has not yet said how she will vote this year. 

A spokeswoman for Trump did not respond to a request for comment.