Campaign Week in Review: Trump ‘Very Strongly’ in Favor of Defunding Planned Parenthood

Ted Cruz welcomed an endorsement from one of the country’s most radical anti-choice activists, a new report revealed Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s aides played a key role in creating stringent anti-choice measures in the state, and Donald Trump sounded off on defunding Planned Parenthood.

Ted Cruz welcomed an endorsement from one of the country’s most radical anti-choice activists, a new report revealed Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s aides played a key role in creating stringent anti-choice measures in the state, and Donald Trump sounded off on defunding Planned Parenthood. Albert H. Teich / Shutterstock.com

This week on the campaign trail, Ted Cruz welcomed an endorsement from one of the country’s most radical anti-choice activists, a report revealed Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s aides played a key role in creating stringent anti-abortion measures in the state, Donald Trump sounded off on defunding Planned Parenthood, and we said goodbye to Bobby Jindal’s bid for president.

Donald Trump Tells Iowa Rally He Is “Very Strongly” in Favor of Defunding Planned Parenthood

Speaking at a town hall event at a local community college in Newton, Iowa, 2016 Republican presidential candidate and businessman Donald Trump railed against funding Planned Parenthood, telling the crowd that he was in favor of pulling federal funding for the health-care organization.

An audience member questioned his stance on defunding the reproductive health-care provider during the question-and-answer portion of Trump’s address. “I am wondering where you stand on giving money to Planned Parenthood when they have the atrocity of selling baby parts,” the audience member asked.

Trump replied by taking a stance against the organization, citing the widely discredited and heavily edited videos released by anti-choice front group the Center for Medical Progress (CMP), which has worked closely with Republican lawmakers to attack and defund the health-care organization.

“I’m against it. I’m for defunding Planned Parenthood, very strongly,” Trump replied. “It’s been such a big subject lately, especially when you’re looking on television and you’re seeing, you know, some of those clips which are terribleso I’m totally for defunding. We shouldn’t be giving to Planned Parenthood.”

Trump, in a break from his usual controversial rhetoric, took a brief moment to speak out in favor of employers offering child care in house for their staff. Trump questioned why more companies do not offer child care to their employees, like he does for many of his companies. “It’s not expensive for a company to do it,” Trump said. “You need one person or two people, and you need some blocks and you need some swings and some toys. You know, surely, it’s not expensive. It’s not an expensive thing. I do it all over, and I get great people because of it … It’s something that can be done, I think, very easily by a company.”

Trump’s assertion came in response to a question from a woman in the audience about how the candidate would provide workers, especially working mothers, with more affordable child care options, reported the Washington Post.

Ted Cruz Touts Endorsement From Radical Anti-Choice Activist Troy Newman

Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) enthusiastically welcomed an endorsement from Troy Newman, the head of radical anti-choice group Operation Rescue.

Cruz embraced Newman’s endorsement in a press release praising the extremist’s work. “I am grateful to receive the endorsement of Troy Newman,” Cruz said. “He has served as a voice for the unborn for over 25 years, and works tirelessly every day for the pro-life cause. We need leaders like Troy Newman in this country who will stand up for those who do not have a voice.”

Newman praised the Republican candidate’s anti-choice advocacy efforts in a statement announcing his endorsement. “There are many people of extraordinary integrity running for President in 2016. And there are many candidates who are strongly pro-life. But when I look at the field of contenders, one man stands out as exceptional,” Newman said. “One man rises above the pack in his willingness to always tell the truth and do what he said he would do—on life and on every issue that matters to social conservatives. That man is Ted Cruz.”

“I’m enthusiastically endorsing Ted Cruz for President because I know he will consistently and meaningfully fight for the unborn and always stand strong for decency and responsibility in our government and across our nation,” he continued. “I encourage anyone who shares these values and who wants a proven, trusted fighter as our president to also endorse Ted Cruz for President.”

Newman is the president of Operation Rescue, an anti-choice organization that moved to Wichita, Kansas, in 2002 to continue a decades-long campaign to intimidate abortion provider Dr. George Tiller. Although Newman later condemned the murder of Tiller by another anti-choice activist in 2009, the group continued to work with other extremists who promoted similar acts of violence.

More recently, Newman became a founding member of the Center for Medical Progress. Newman in October was detained by Australian authorities after he attempted to enter the country despite having his visa revoked. An Australian lawmaker had raised concerns that the visit would contribute to the “harassment and intimidation” of women looking to access reproductive health care.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich’s Aides Played Critical Role in Crafting Legislation That Closed Half the State’s Abortion Clinics

Kasich’s office played a key role in helping write the language for anti-choice amendments to the state’s 2013 budgets, which eventually led to the closure of more than half of the state’s abortion clinics.

Although the extreme anti-choice budget measures were previously attributed solely to the state legislature, emails obtained by the Associated Press and verified by the governor’s office found that Kasich’s aides spent nearly 18 months prior to the budget being released helping to form the language for the abortion restrictions.

As Rewire previously reported:The anti-choice budget provisions included several measures meant to regulate and roll back access to the procedure, including stringent licensing regulations for clinics that have become commonplace proposals in states with Republican-held legislatures. Under the restrictions, all clinics in the state were required to have a written agreement with a local or private hospital to accept patients in case of an emergency—but public hospitals were specifically banned from participating in the agreement.”

Eight of Ohio’s 13 abortion providers were forced to close their doors or stop providing abortion services under the new GOP-backed regulations.

Bobby Jindal, Governor of One of the Country’s Most Anti-Choice States, Drops Out of Race

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who presides over one of the states most hostile to abortion in the United States, dropped out of the race for the Republican presidential nomination on Tuesday.

During an appearance on Fox News, Jindal opined that it wasn’t the right time for him to run for president. “I’ve come to the realization that this is not my time,” he said. “So I’ve come here to announce that I am suspending my campaign for president of the United States.”

Jindal used his anti-choice credentials as a key component of his presidential platform, even bragging on the campaign trail about his state’s designation by anti-choice group Americans United for Life (AUL) as the most hostile place for abortion six years in a row while under his leadership.

The Republican governor rose to prominence due in part to his extreme anti-choice record, which has included the passage of several measures designed to roll back access to abortion, such as telemedicine bans, forced ultrasounds, and an unconstitutional 20-week abortion ban.

Jindal spent much of the year leading the charge to block Medicaid funding to Planned Parenthood clinics in Louisiana, endangering the health of more than 5,200 residents who rely on the provider for care, despite eventually being blocked by a federal court.