Donald Trump on Tuesday defended comments he made earlier in the day suggesting that Republicans consider the services unrelated to abortion provided by Planned Parenthood before defunding the organization.
The real estate mogul had initially indicated support for congressional Republicans’ efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, but he backed away from that stance in a Tuesday morning interview on CNN. He said he would want to take another look at the other services provided by the organization before cutting of federal funding entirely.
In an interview that aired Tuesday night, Fox News’ Sean Hannity asked Trump about the comments he made that morning.
“Let’s say there is two Planned Parenthoods in a way. You have it as an abortion clinic. Now that’s actually a fairly small part of what they do, but it’s a brutal part and I’m totally against it and I wouldn’t do that,” Trump told Hannity. “They also however service women.”
“We have to help women,” he continued. “We have to look at the positives, also, for Planned Parenthood.”
Hannity then asked if the government should provide any funds to groups that perform abortions, even if government money does not directly fund those procedures.
“Maybe unless they stop with the abortions, we don’t do the funding for the stuff that we want,” Trump said in response. “There are many ways you can do that, because I’m totally against the abortion aspect at Planned Parenthood, but I’ve had many women, I’ve had many Republican conservative women come up and say Planned Parenthood serves a good function other than that one aspect.”
During his interview with CNN earlier in the day, Trump also expressed support for exceptions to bans on abortion in cases of rape and incest, as well as in cases that would save the life of the mother.
His comments on abortion and Planned Parenthood funding earned him praise from the organization on Tuesday.
“Donald Trump seems to have realized that banning all abortions, shutting down the government, and defunding Planned Parenthood are extreme positions that are way too far outside the mainstream for even him to take,” Planned Parenthood spokesman Eric Ferrero said in a statement to The Daily Beast. “We hope that the rest of the GOP field will wake up and reconsider their extreme and unpopular positions on defunding preventive care, abortion bans, and the other economic issues that women and their families care about.”
Watch part of Hannity’s interview with Trump via Fox News: