Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump recently explained his “very pro-choice” position of 1999. He said, “Don’t forget, when I was asked the first, I was a real estate developer, and that was not a question that people went around asking you. And I actually said that the concept of abortion was always a tough concept for most people. Those Planned Parenthood videos that came out recently are terrible.”
Fast forward to 2015. While also touting his real estate and business experience, Trump told CNN’s Chris Cuomo, “the biggest problem I have with Planned Parenthood is the abortion situation. I mean, it’s like an abortion factory, frankly.” He added: “maybe some of the things are good and I know a lot of things are bad;” “the abortion aspect of Planned Parenthood…absolutely should not be funded;” and he strongly disagrees with Republicans who advocate “no exceptions” for abortion. In fact, he stated five times in a row that he was “for the exceptions.”
And to Bloomberg News reporters Mark Halperin and John Heilemann Trump exclaimed his sister, a federal judge, would make a “phenomenal” Supreme Court Justice. Maryanne Trump Barry, is a staunch supporter of partial-birth abortion, whose rationale for legalizing it easily extends to justifying the legalization of infanticide.
In 2000 Judge Barry wrote that the State of New Jersey’s decision to outlaw partial-birth abortion was “based on semantic machinations, irrational line-drawing, and an obvious attempt to inflame public opinion instead of logic or medical evidence.” To Judge Barry no difference in a baby’s location (fully or partially in or out of the womb) relevantly pertains to when a baby’s life “expires.”
Author Ramesh Ponnuru wrote about the “heated judicial decision in favor of giving constitutional protection to partial-birth abortion.” He noted that Judge Barry declared New Jersey’s law was a “desperate attempt to undermine Roe v. Wade.” Ponnuru also points to Hadley Arkes, the mind behind the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act, who was well aware of Judge Barry’s advocacy. Arkes referred to her position in his book as a prime example of the need to enact a Born-Alive Infants Protection law.
In fact, if either predicted that the U.S. Supreme Court would rule on limits to abortion, they would have been correct. In 2007, the U.S. Supreme Court upheld a 2003 federal ban on partial-birth abortion, but only by a margin of one vote.
Regarding Planned Parenthood, Trump told Fox News’ Sean Hannity:
“There’s 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. They also, however, service women. Maybe unless they stop with the abortions, we don’t do the funding for the stuff that we want. There are many ways you can do that, Sean.”
Trump isn’t alone in sharing this view. He added, “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.”
The “aspect” to which Trump refers is what Dr. Deborah Nucatola, Planned Parenthood’s director of medical services, describes on video. The high demand—and cost for fetal livers, lungs and “intact” hearts—from aborted babies.
Planned Parenthood claimed to offer 11 million “services” in America in its 2009-2010 Annual Report. It also claims that among these services only 329,445 were abortions, and that abortions only account for 3 percent of its total services.
Other reports contradict this report however. Life News cites Centers for Disease Control and Prevention data from the same year, which indicates that Planned Parenthood clinics performed 40 percent of all abortions in America. And the Guttmacher Institute, citing different national data from the same year, calculates that Planned Parenthood clinics perform 27.5 percent of all abortions in America.
Despite Planned Parenthood’s claims, it is by far the largest abortion provider in America.
Congress has consistently voted to fund roughly half of Planned Parenthood’s $1.1 billion budget. The Senate this year failed to gain the votes needed to defund Planned Parenthood—even after video recordings surfaced of Planned Parenthood employees discussing the demand and cost for aborted baby organs.
To date, the sole, consistently vocal advocate, for prosecuting Planned Parenthood comes from a different Republican presidential candidate—Senator Ted Cruz. Cruz argues that selling body organs, parts, and tissue for profit, even in exchange for “financial contributions,” is a felony. He’s correct.
The National Organ Transplant Act of 1984 (NOTA) makes illegal the selling and buying of human organs. Any individual convicted of buying and/or selling human organs can be sentenced to five years in prison and also pay a significantly large financial penalty. The law explicitly states that the crime involves an individual who “knowingly acquires, receives, or otherwise transfers” a human organ. (It also provides a loophole for those who might unknowingly receive an illegally procured organ.)
According to The Hill, Cruz said, “On tape, it appears a Planned Parenthood official is admitting to multiple felonies. The U.S. Department of Justice, if it was not simply a partisan arm of the DNC, should open an investigation and prosecute Planned Parenthood. Congress should hold hearings and we should cut off funds.”
Will Trump’s position on abortion next evolve to include prosecuting Planned Parenthood employees? That possibility seems doubtful, especially if his sister ends up on the Supreme Court’s bench.
Below is a video illustrating the procedure Trump’s sister supports.