In an excerpt from her new book "Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead," Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards describes her meeting with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner last year. Richards characterized the couple’s offer to protect the organization’s federal funding if it stopped doing abortions as something that “felt like a bribe.”
"The main issue, he [Kushner] explained, was abortion," People magazine quoted from Richards's book. "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.'"
Richards goes on to claim that Kushner and Ivanka's motive in asking the group to stop providing abortions was to deliver a "political win" and solidify their image as "savvy dealmakers."
“If it wasn’t crystal clear before, it was now. Jared and Ivanka were there for one reason: to deliver a political win,” she continues. “In their eyes, if they could stop Planned Parenthood from providing abortions, it would confirm their reputation as savvy dealmakers. It was surreal, essentially being asked to barter away women’s rights for more money.”
Richards said that in the end there was “no way” Kushner’s proposal would’ve been accepted.
It's interesting that Richards views abortion services as non-negotiable for the group, given that Planned Parenthood has repeatedly claimed that abortions make up just 3 percent of the services they provide. This claim has been questioned by many, including The Washington Post.
“Honestly, it felt almost like a bribe,” Richards remembers telling the organization’s vice president Dawn Laguens, “I know there are people who will disagree with me, and maybe I shouldn’t have just shut down the conversation, but I did what I thought was best.”
Richards later slammed Ivanka Trump Tuesday when discussing that part of her book with CNN’s Erin Burnett.
Burnett equated abortion with “women’s rights,” and wondered if Ivanka’s conversation trying to end abortions at Planned Parenthood and her advocacy for women’s rights was a contradiction.
“To me, if her job is to advocate for women, I don’t think she’s done a very good job,” Richards said.
Last year, in an interview with Gayle King on CBS, Ivanka Trump defended her choice not to publicly comment on issues where she disagrees with her father on certain policies.
“I would say not to conflate lack of public denouncement with silence,” she said. “I think there are multiple ways to have your voice heard. In some cases, it’s through protest and it’s through going on the nightly news and talking about or denouncing every issue on which you disagree with. Other times, it is quietly and directly and candidly. So where I disagree with my father, he knows it.”