Romney aide denies cutting federal funds is ‘defunding’ Planned Parenthood

By David Edwards
Sunday, April 15, 2012 11:37 EDT
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Mitt Romney aide Ed Gillespie speaks to Fox News
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Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s senior adviser insisted on Sunday that it was “not fair to say” that his boss wanted to defund Planned Parenthood just because he intends to strip the organization of all federal funding.

“Anyone who saw the controversy with the Komen Foundation knows that Planned Parenthood gets the lion’s share of its money from private sector contributions,” Romney aide Ed Gillespie told Fox News host Chris Wallace on Sunday. “We’re talking about federal funding for Planned Parenthood.”

“But they do a lot of things beyond abortion,” Wallace pointed out.

“They do,” Gillespie agreed. “And if people want to give to that charity for that purpose, that’s a noble thing to do. Federal funding of abortion is not a noble thing to do. And so defunding — from a federal budget perspective — Planned Parenthood is not the same thing as defunding Planned Parenthood.”

“You’ve got the Hyde Amendment, which says there’s no federal funding of abortion,” Wallace noted. “And the federal government has given money to Planned Parenthood for years with the money for abortion sequestered off. Why isn’t that good enough? It’s worked for years.”

“Money is fungible as we all know,” Gillespie argued. “People can disagree with that, but it’s not fair to say that not having federal funding for Planned Parenthood is defunding Planned Parenthood.”

Speaking to KDSK in March, Romney said that he would “get rid” of the family planning organization.

“The test is pretty simple: Is the program so critical, it’s worth borrowing money from china to pay for it?” the candidate explained. “And on that basis of course you get rid of Obamacare, that’s the easy one. Planned Parenthood, we’re going to get rid of that.”

In February, Romney said it was even “wrong” for private organizations like like Susan G. Komen for the Cure to fund Planned Parenthood’s breast cancer screenings for poor women.

“Look, the idea that we’re subsidizing an institution which is providing abortion, in my view, is wrong,” the former Massachusetts governor told conservative radio host Scott Hennen.

“I am a pro-life individual. I was a pro-life governor, served as a pro-life governor. I’m a pro-life candidate. I simply do not want to participate in anything that takes away the life of an unborn child,” he added.

Watch to the video below from Fox News’ Fox News Sunday, broadcast on April 15, 2012.

David Edwards
David Edwards
David Edwards has served as an editor at Raw Story since 2006. His work can also be found at Crooks & Liars, and he's also been published at The BRAD BLOG. He came to Raw Story after working as a network manager for the state of North Carolina and as as engineer developing enterprise resource planning software. Follow him on Twitter at @DavidEdwards.
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