The White House, concerned about the possible political repercussions of the Republican effort to defund Planned Parenthood, has proposed preserving federal payments to the group if it discontinues providing abortions.
The proposal, which was never made formally, has been rejected as an impossibility by officials at Planned Parenthood, which receives about $500 million annually in federal funding. That money helps pay for women’s health services the organization provides, not for abortion services.
“Let’s be clear, federal funds already do not pay for abortions,” Dawn Laguens, the executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said on Monday. “Offering money to Planned Parenthood to abandon our patients and our values is not a deal that we will ever accept. Providing critical health care services for millions of American women is nonnegotiable.”
But the outreach to allies of Planned Parenthood is a glimpse of the internal struggle inside a White House torn between trying to satisfy the conservative base that elected President Trump and responding to the views of his older daughter, Ivanka Trump, who urged her father to tread carefully on the Planned Parenthood issue during the Republican primary contest.