Donald Trump’s Victory Looks Set to Renew Battle Over Abortion Rights – Wall Street Journal

 In Health

Republican lawmakers may have an easier path to cutting Planned Parenthood funding with Mr. Trump in the White House. Using a budget process that circumvents the procedural hurdles that require 60 votes in the Senate, Republicans passed legislation that would strip Planned Parenthood of federal funds, but it was vetoed this year by President Obama.

Last week, the Susan B. Anthony List sent a letter to every member of Congress urging them to defund Planned Parenthood through this “proven pathway…as soon as possible in 2017 and not a moment later.”

That plan could find support from Mr. Trump, who—despite praising some of Planned Parenthood’s health-care services, including providing birth control and mammograms to detect breast cancer—said the organization shouldn’t receive federal funds as long as it offers abortion.

The so-called Hyde Amendment already bans using taxpayer funds to pay for most abortions, but Planned Parenthood is reimbursed by the federal government for providing other health-care services to Medicaid patients.

Before he began running for president, and at times during his 2016 campaign, Mr. Trump seemed an unlikely champion for the antiabortion movement. The New York businessman described himself as “very pro-choice” in 1999. He said he was “pro-life” during his presidential bid but unnerved activists on both sides of the debate in March when he said women seeking abortions should be punished. Hours later, he reversed that position.

By the Republican convention in July, Mr. Trump had locked down support from abortion opponents by releasing a list of known conservatives as potential Supreme Court justices and choosing a prominent abortion foe, Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, as his running mate. He gave his most impassioned remarks about abortion at the third and final debate against Mrs. Clinton.

In that debate, Mr. Trump said if he is able to appoint two or three Supreme Court justices, overturning Roe v. Wade “will happen automatically in my opinion.” He also said, “If you go with what Hillary is saying, in the ninth month, you can take the baby and rip the baby out of the womb of the mother just prior to the birth of the baby.”

Mrs. Clinton dismissed Mr. Trump’s attack as “scare rhetoric.” But the remarks helped rally abortion opponents around his candidacy, Ms. Quigley said.

“One thing that became clear over the course of the campaign, culminating in the third debate, is that Trump came to see abortion as the atrocity that it is,” Ms. Quigley said. “Our critical goals are in reach.”

Write to Beth Reinhard at [email protected]

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