At his campaign headquarters in Palm Beach, Florida, Donald Trump gave a Super Tuesday speech with seemingly paradoxical statements about his approach to women's rights during his hypothetical presidency. "I'm going to be good for women, and women's health issues," stated Trump, then almost immediately followed the comment with his intention to defund Planned Parenthood. "Millions of women have been helped by Planned Parenthood but we're not gonna fund while you've got the abortion happening [there].”
Despite Trump's recent and very confusing shift in tone concerning Planned Parenthood, the Republican frontrunner still seems insistent on denying funds from the public health institution. Earlier in the election cycle, particularly during the undercover video scandal that was later proven false, Trump thoroughly lambasted the organization on live television. "Planned Parenthood should absolutely be defunded," said Trump during an appearance on Fox News. "I mean if you look at what's going on with that, it's terrible. And many of the things should be defunded and many things should be cut."
Yet during the last GOP debate in Houston, he praised the organization for its work with women's health issues, including breast and cervical cancer treatment, while still calling for Planned Parenthood to be defunded. He hasn't substantively changed his position, but Trump has noticeably softened the rhetoric regarding his pro-life beliefs. Trump came under fire for his harsh condemnations of the organization following the November shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood, which may have contributed to the toned-down demeanor.
But Planned Parenthood doesn't want anything to do with Trump, even if he's supporting certain aspects of the organization. Earlier on Tuesday, Cecile Richards, longstanding president of PP, tweeted an admonition of Trump's comment about the organization during the last GOP debate. "We don't want his applause. He doesn't stand w/ PP or the 1 in 5 women who have been to PP." Richards is publicly outspoken about her support for Hillary Clinton, who promised to keep Planned Parenthood running if she is elected president during the organization's official endorsement party in January.
Trump's comments seem completely contradictory to feminists, but they seem to make perfect sense to him. "I will be the best thing that ever happened to women," said Trump during an August interview with CNN, despite the poll numbers that indicated that 61 percent of people thought Trump doesn't care about women. Somehow, in his mind, regulation of women's bodies and condemnations of their personal choices is the best thing to ever happen to them.
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