PALM BEACH, Fla. — Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump again repeated his belief on Tuesday that while he would defund the abortion giant Planned Parenthood because it murders unborn children, the organization “has done very good work” for “millions of women.”
Trump held a news conference in Palm Beach on Super Tuesday night instead of a campaign rally, and was asked by a reporter about his softer tone on the organization.
“Does it feel to you yet like you are the presumptive Republican nominee—and along those lines, you had some complimentary things to say about Planned Parenthood. You said you could be flexible on immigration. Are you trying to adjust your tone to a more general election message?” she asked.
“Look, Planned Parenthood has done very good work for some—for many, many—for millions of women,” Trump replied, noting that some may not think that it is right to make such a remark.
“And I’ll say it, and I know a lot of the so-called conservatives, they say that’s really—because I’m a conservative, but I’m a common sense conservative,” he stated. “But millions of women have been helped by Planned Parenthood.”
Trump said that he would not fund Planned Parenthood as long as it performs abortions, but stated that he has received “thousands” of letters from women who have been helped by the organization.
“[W]e’re not going to allow and we’re not going to fund as long as you have the abortion going on at Planned Parenthood, and we understand that and I’ve said it loud and clear,” he stated. “[But] I’ve had thousands of letters from women that have been helped. And this wasn’t a set-up; this was people writing letters.”
Trump made similar comments last Thursday during the Republican presidential debate.
“Millions of millions of women—cervical cancer, breast cancer—are helped by Planned Parenthood,” he asserted after being confronted by Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio about his recent positive remarks about the organization. “I would defund it because I’m pro-life, but millions of women are helped by Planned Parenthood.”
“So you can say whatever you want, but they have millions of women going through Planned Parenthood that are helped greatly,” Trump said.
As previously reported, in its annual report released at the end of December, Planned Parenthood outlined that the organization performed 323,999 abortions nationwide during the 2014-2015 fiscal year.
As it has been in previous years, Planned Parenthood’s largest focus was sexually transmitted diseases (STD’s), as it tested and/or treated over four million people for sexual ailments, with over 3.5 million tests and 32 thousand men and women being treated for ailments contracted through sexual activity.
Over 2.9 million people were provided with contraceptives or other forms of birth control in 2014—from temporary to permanent, including over 900 thousand emergency contraception kits. The figure is down from 3.5 million the year before, and 3.7 million in 2012.
Planned Parenthood does not provide mammograms as it is not licensed to operate mammogram machines, and its annual report outlined that less than 700,000 women received services surrounding cancer screenings, equating to just seven percent of its services, while STD testing and contraceptives accounted for 76 percent of its services.