Trump Adds a Touch of Class to the Anti-Planned Parenthood Mob

Henry McGee/ZUMA Wire

Facts matter: Sign up for the free Mother Jones Daily newsletter. Support our nonprofit reporting. Subscribe to our print magazine.


In a radio interview yesterday with conservative host Hugh Hewitt, Donald Trump took the unusual step of agreeing with other Republican presidential candidates. He said that it would be better for the federal government to shut down than to continue funding Planned Parenthood.

“The only way to get rid of Planned Parenthood money for selling off baby parts is to shut the government down in September. Would you support that?” Hewitt asked. Trump replied, “Well I can tell you this. I would.” In the late ’90s, Trump said he supported keeping late-term abortions legal, but since first considering a run for the GOP nomination in 2011, he has been pro-life.

Trump joins a long list of conservatives who have expressed outrage over undercover videos released by a network of anti-abortion activists last month. Jeb Bush also offered his two cents. “The next president should defund Planned Parenthood,” he said in an interview. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal severed the state’s Medicaid contract with Planned Parenthood yesterday. Meanwhile, the Senate debated a bill that aimed to strip all federal funding of Planned Parenthood. The bill ultimately failed after the threat of a Democratic filibuster led by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill.

Republican senators and 2016 hopefuls Ted Cruz and Rand Paul have promised to do everything in their power to deny funding to Planned Parenthood, even if it comes down to a government shutdown. Arizona Sen. John McCain, who chastised his colleagues for the 2013 shutdown, told NPR that he believes a shutdown would be justified in this case. “If [Democrats] want to stand before the American people and say they support this practice of dismembering unborn children, then that’s their privilege,” McCain said.

It’s possible that when Congress returns from its five-week August recess, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner will attach a new bill to defund Planned Parenthood to a must-pass budget bill, employing the same tactics that were used in the 2013 shutdown.

Now that Trump has signed on to a potential shutdown, he thinks it could succeed. He acknowledged to Hewitt that the government shutdown over the Affordable Care Act in 2013 was a political disaster for the Republicans—but that was their own fault. “If they had stuck together, they would have won that battle,” he asserted. “I think you have to in this case, also.”

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

THE TRUTH...

is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate