Trump Says He Will ‘Fully Defund’ Planned Parenthood If He Wins Election

September 4, 2020 Updated: September 4, 2020

President Donald Trump promised Thursday that he would work to “fully defund” the abortion industry, including Planned Parenthood, of taxpayer dollars if re-elected.

In a letter (pdf) to the pro-life community seeking their support in the November presidential election, Trump reiterated his commitment to defend unborn children.

“Since my inauguration, I have proudly governed as the most pro-life president in our nation’s history,” Trump said in his letter, addressed to “Pro-Life Leaders and Activists.”

Trump told his supporters that if reelected, he would work together with them to “[f]ully defund the big abortion industry such as Planned Parenthood of our tax dollars.”

In other promises, he said he would work with his supporters to fill the Supreme Court and lower courts “with judges who will respect the Constitution and not legislate an abortion agenda from the bench,” and also pass and sign into law the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, the No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act, and the Born Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.

In a Twitter post late Thursday, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund responded to the president’s letter, saying, “This is Trump attacking your health care—and we’ll fight back.”

The group also wrote, “‘Defunding’ Planned Parenthood = blocking patients from accessing preventative care. It’s a political show with real consequences, harming the 2.4M people a year seeking care.”

Trump noted in his letter that his administration has achieved “so much for unborn children and their mothers,” listing out a number of accomplishments, which included the confirmations of Justices Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh to the U.S. Supreme Court, as well as stopping some taxpayer funding of the abortion industry through the Title X Protect Life rule.

Trump also noted that he has ended taxpayer funding “for new medical research using aborted baby body parts at the National Institutes of Health.”

In a statement on Thursday, Planned Parenthood Votes characterized the pro-life movement as the “anti-abortion movement” and called Trump’s promise one that would “[attack] access to safe, legal abortion.”

Jenny Lawson, the executive director of Planned Parenthood Votes, said in the statement, “If it wasn’t clear before, it’s crystal clear now: A second Trump term would mean four more years of relentless, withering attacks on reproductive health care, including access to safe, legal abortion.

“Despite record-high support for abortion rights, Trump and his allies in Congress and state legislatures are committed to doing all they can to fill the courts with anti-abortion judges, pass restrictive abortion bans, and try to close Planned Parenthood health centers that provide essential sexual and reproductive health care to 2.4 million patients annually.

“It’s no exaggeration to say our health and rights are on the line this November, and Planned Parenthood Votes is prepared to ensure we elect reproductive health champions up and down the ballot.”

Contrast to Biden

In his letter, Trump drew a sharp distinction between Democratic presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden’s stance on abortion and that of his own administration.

“As I seek re-election this November, I need your help in contrasting my bold pro-life leadership with Joe Biden’s abortion extremism,” Trump wrote. “The Democratic Party unequivocally supports abortion on-demand, up until the moment of birth, and even infanticide—leaving babies to die after failed abortions.”

He added, “Joe Biden’s embrace of this extreme position is most evidenced by his support for taxpayer funding of abortion on-demand. Forcing taxpayers to pay for abortions is an abhorrent position that must be defeated at the ballot box.

“Joe Biden has doubled down on these positions with his selection of abortion extremist Kamala Harris as his running mate. With your help, I will win re-election, ensuring we have another four years to fight in the trenches for unborn children and their mothers.”

The Biden campaign did not respond to a request for comment.

This article has been updated with further comment from Planned Parenthood.

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