The White House has proposed preserving federal funding for Planned Parenthood if the group agrees to discontinue providing abortions.
The news, which was first reported by The New York Times and confirmed by the White House to ABC News, comes as President Donald Trump and his team are working on their first round of budget proposals.
"As I said throughout the campaign, I am pro-life and I am deeply committed to investing in women’s health and plan to significantly increase federal funding in support of nonabortion services such as cancer screenings," Trump said in a statement. "Polling shows the majority of Americans oppose public funding for abortion, even those who identify as pro-choice. There is an opportunity for organizations to continue the important work they do in support of women’s health, while not providing abortion services."
Planned Parenthood receives upwards of $500 million in federal funding, according to the organization's annual reports. The nonprofit organization provides a multitude of medical services, including cancer screenings, sexually transmitted disease testing and, most controversially, abortions. No federal funding goes toward abortion, according to the organization.
Any actions that Trump and his administration take to curb that funding will not be the first time the group has faced Republicans set on cutting its access to operational funds. Recently, the threat of defunding came from House Speaker Paul Ryan, who indicated in January that a repeal of Obamacare would include an effort to cut off funding for the group.
Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards immediately tweeted out her response to Trump's latest pronouncement, vowing not to "back down in the face of threats or intimidation."
Planned Parenthood is proud to provide abortion—a necessary service that’s as vital to our mission as birth control or cancer screenings. https://t.co/TWGOcVjBJ4— Cecile Richards (@CecileRichards) March 6, 2017
We won't back down in the face of threats or intimidation, or turn our backs on the patients who count on us. Not today, tomorrow, not ever.— Cecile Richards (@CecileRichards) March 6, 2017
We believe protecting the ability of women to determine our own futures is not only a Planned Parenthood value - it's an American value.— Cecile Richards (@CecileRichards) March 6, 2017
She also released a longer statement, noting the organizations "singular commitment" to "the women and men who come to us for health care every day in communities across the country."
"The White House proposal that Planned Parenthood stop providing abortion is the same demand opponents of women’s health have been pushing for decades, as a part of their longstanding effort to end women’s access to safe, legal abortion. Planned Parenthood has always stood strong against these attacks on our patients and their ability to access the full range of reproductive health care. We are glad that the White House understands that taking away the preventive care Planned Parenthood provides is deeply unpopular and would be a disaster for women’s health care," she said in part in the statement.