Report: Ivanka Secretly Reached Out to Planned Parenthood

Posted: Apr 06, 2017 8:30 AM

Ivanka Trump met privately with Cecile Richards, the head of Planned Parenthood, shortly after her father took office, Politico reported Thursday.

The sit-down was requested by Trump, who wanted to learn more about how the organization works.

“The purpose of the meeting, from Cecile’s point of view, was to make sure that Ivanka fully understood what Planned Parenthood does, how it is funded, and why it would be a terrible idea for Planned Parenthood to be removed from being able to see Medicaid patients,” Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, told Politico. “The main thing that Cecile Richards was doing was explaining that the money doesn’t actually go to abortions — we get reimbursed the same way a hospital does. We were clearing up misinformation about how this works.”

Planned Parenthood isn’t the only progressive organization Trump has reached out to as she makes advocating for women’s issues her focus. She also met with the National Women's Law Center and the National Partnership for Women and Family, Politico reported.

But her efforts to reach across partisan divides has fallen flat among some in the progressive movement, who charge that she can’t “have it both ways.”

“You don’t get to say, I’m all for economic empowerment, and ignore that 30 percent of wage gains are directly attributable to access to birth control. You don’t get to say women should have great childcare when maternity benefits are on the chopping block,” Laguens said, reports Politico.

Richards has also publicly criticized the first daughter since their meeting, slamming her for her “deafening” silence on the GOP’s American Health Care Act.

And on Wednesday, speaking at the Women in the World conference in New York City, Richards suggested Trump, a senior adviser who has an office in the West Wing, bears some responsibility for the policies advanced by her father’s administration.

“Anyone who works in this White House is responsible for addressing why women are in the crosshairs of basically every single policy we've seen in this administration,” she said.

But Trump has defended why she hasn’t been outspoken about social issues.

"I would say not to conflate lack of public denouncement with silence. I think there are multiple ways to have your voice heard. In some ways, it's through protest or calling on the nightly news and talking about or denouncing every issue which you do not agree with," she said in an interview with CBS that aired Wednesday. "Other times it is quietly and directly and candidly - so where I disagree with my father, he knows it and I express myself with total candor where I agree."