Why Trump's Planned Parenthood Proposal Is So Extremely Offensive
Amid the rapid-fire news day that was March 6, it's easy to miss the subtext of President Donald Trump's proposal to Planned Parenthood that would supposedly halt their defunding if and when they stop providing abortions. PP naturally and rightfully rejected the proposal, but their rebuttal, and the context that surrounds it, speaks volumes as to the sheer offensiveness of the unofficial deal itself. There are a number of reasons why Trump's Planned Parenthood proposal is so offensive to women and to the organization itself.
Trump's proposal itself, initially given as a statement to The New York Times, is couched in seemingly pro-PP rhetoric that may have been inspired by Ivanka Trump's stance on the organization:
As I said throughout the campaign, I am pro-life and I am deeply committed to investing in women's health and plan to significantly increase federal funding in support of non-abortion services such as cancer screenings. Polling shows the majority of Americans oppose public funding for abortion, even those who identify as pro-choice. There is an opportunity for organizations to continue the important work they do in support of women's health, while not providing abortion services.
It doesn't take that close a reading of Trump's statement to see how contradictory and offensive the proposal truly is.
Planned Parenthood Doesn't Use Federal Funds For Abortions
At least among pro-choice advocates, it's a well-known fact that abortion services are not covered by the $500 million PP receives yearly in federal funds. It's both an insult to pro-choice women's intelligence and a gross misrepresentation of the issue. In fact, President Trump reiterated the dangerous (and repeatedly-debunked) myth that PP uses Title X funding for abortions. It's at best a show of ignorance to the way PP expends its budget to provide abortions.
Abortion Services Are A Part Of Women's Healthcare
As much as Trump and his colleagues would like it not to be so, abortion remains legal in the United States. As such, access to abortion services is an integral part of women's healthcare as we know it, and if PP or any other abortion providers lose their ability to provide abortions, it could create a serious healthcare crisis. Women can and do die from performing DIY abortions, and there is little likelihood that a partial or complete reversal of abortion rights would result in anything but unsafe abortions.
Federal Funding For Healthcare Shouldn't Be Treated Like A "Deal"
If abortion were replaced by any other healthcare issue, it would be appalling to both Republicans and Democrats for the president to propose such a deal to a major care provider. Regardless of Trump's strange stance-changing on abortion or his party's commitment to overturning Roe v. Wade, it's bizarre and insulting to watch an American president dangle healthcare access over the heads of the people who need it in exchange for any stipulation, even one as large as abortion. This is not The Art of the Deal, and women's healthcare — abortion services included — isn't up for negotiation.
Between Trump's revised travel ban, the GOP's Affordable Care Act repeal draft, and this abortion wheeling-and-dealing from the Oval Office, there's tons to be pissed about on this most angering of days. But when reading between the lines, there's even more to be offended at with President Trump's PP proposal, proving once again that women have a lot to fight for and against with this administration.