As it has multiple times on the campaign trail, Donald Trump’s explanation of his stance on Planned Parenthood during Thursday’s GOP debate suggested he doesn’t understand how its federal funding works, and specifically the role of the Hyde Amendment.
“As far as Planned Parenthood is concerned, I’m pro-life. I’m totally against abortion having to do with Planned Parenthood,” Trump said, before praising the health care organization for the services it offers women.
“So you can say whatever you want, but they have millions of women going through Planned Parenthood, that are helped greatly. And I wouldn’t fund it. I would defund it because of the abortion factor,” Trump continued.
That’s a confusing and somewhat contradictory way of putting it: Planned Parenthood is great, except for the abortion stuff they do, which I won’t fund.
But here’s the key thing Trump misses: The federal Hyde Amendment blocks Planned Parenthood — or any one other entity — from using taxpayer money for abortions, with the exception of rape, incest and life of the mother. It is named for the late Rep. Henry Hyde (R-IL).
Trump failed to acknowledge that under the Hyde Amendment almost none of those Planned Parenthood abortions are funded by the federal government. (It’s worth noting that Trump has said he supports rape, incest and life of the mother exceptions when it comes to abortion in general).
Trump has missed this point in the past when he has talked about Planned Parenthood.
“Planned Parenthood does a really good job at a lot of different areas. But not on abortion,” Trump said this week on Meet The Press, for instance. “So I’m not going to fund it if it’s doing the abortion. I am not going to fund it.”