Planned Parenthood Chief: Ivanka and Jared Offered ‘Bribe’ to Stop Abortions
In her new memoir, “Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead,” Planned Parenthood chief Cecile Richards discusses her attempts to safeguard female reproductive health during the presidential transition in early 2017. In one passage, she reveals that Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner offered her what felt like a “bribe” in exchange for federal funding.
Richards wrote that she was hesitant to take the meeting in January 2017 (before the inauguration) with Trump and Kushner, but had been hopeful that Planned Parenthood might find new allies in the Trump administration.
“Even if there was only a sliver of a chance of changing anyone’s mind, I owed it to Planned Parenthood patients to at least take the meeting,” Richards explains. Her husband, Kirk Adams, joined the meeting because Richards felt she “needed a witness.”
In a statement Planned Parenthood provided to Time, the purpose of the meeting “was to make sure that Ivanka Trump fully understood the important role Planned Parenthood plays in providing health care to millions of people and why it would be a disastrous idea to block people from accessing care at Planned Parenthood.”
After Richards explained this, she writes that Kushner told her Planned Parenthood “had made a big mistake by becoming ‘political.’ ”
“The main issue, he explained, was abortion,” Richards writes. “If Planned Parenthood wanted to keep our federal funding, we would have to stop providing abortions. He described his ideal outcome: a national headline reading ‘Planned Parenthood Discontinues Abortion Services.’ ”
According to Make Trouble, Kushner said that if Richards agreed to the plan then funding could increase, but he urged them to “move fast.”
Richards says she “shut down the conversation” and told the pair there was “no way” their idea was viable. “It was surreal, essentially being asked to barter away women’s rights for more money,” she reflects in the book. She reportedly told them: “Our mission is to care for women who need us, and that means caring for all of their reproductive needs—including safe and legal abortion.”
Ivanka Trump’s stance on abortion has been historically vague, and she has largely remained silent when her father’s administration has made moves to restrict abortion access.
“I don’t express my views on policy, with one exception as it relates to child care and advocating for women,” she said at Fortune’s Most Powerful Women Summit in October 2016. However, even before Donald Trump took office, Ivanka refused to disclose her own views on abortion, saying they were not pertinent.Your support matters…
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