Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards has leveled a strong accusation against Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner. According to Richards’s new book — appropriately titled Make Trouble — the couple tried to “bribe” her by offering federal funding for Planned Parenthood if the organization agreed to stop offering abortions.
Richards says that the offer came during a January 2017 meeting, to which she brought husband Kirk Adams as a “witness.”
“The main issue, [Kushner] explained, was abortion,” Richards writes, according to an excerpt published by People. “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.’
“If it wasn’t crystal clear before, it was now,” Richard continues. “Jared and Ivanka were there for one reason: to deliver a political win. 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. It takes a lot to get Kirk mad, but it looked like his head was about to explode.”
The incident — which Richards says “felt like a bribe” — brings new scrutiny to Trump, who has expressed support for women’s rights while declining to denounce proposed cuts to measures affecting women’s health. According to a 2017 New York Times feature, White House officials credited the president’s daughter and adviser with trying to find a “common-sense solution amid the roar of abortion politics.”
That article also claims that Trump proposed that Planned Parenthood separate abortion from its other health services, which Richards declined to do.
Planned Parenthood issued a statement last April elaborating on the discussions.
“Cecile Richards and Ivanka Trump had a cordial and informative meeting shortly after the inauguration,” the statement read. “The purpose of the meeting, from Planned Parenthood’s perspective, 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. It was also important to clear up any misinformation regarding the Medicaid reimbursements Planned Parenthood receives and explain that Planned Parenthood is reimbursed the same way hospitals are. It’s not a budget line item.
“Planned Parenthood welcomes the opportunity to meet with anyone to talk about the important role Planned Parenthood plays in providing health care to millions of people and ensure they have the facts.
“Senior staff at the White House, including Ivanka Trump, play an influential role in shaping the Administration’s policy and negotiations with Congress, which has a profound impact on women’s health and lives.
“As Cecile Richards said at the Women in the World Summit on April 5, 2017: ‘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.’”
Though Richards’s claims have prompted cheers from some antiabortion advocates, the couple is now experiencing fallout on social media.
I didn’t think it was possible for me to hate them more than I did but hey it’s a new day
— Caryn Rose (@carynrose) April 4, 2018
. Offs. @IvankaTrump is no friend of women. We’ve known that all along. She’s been playing “female supporter”. We must not forget this moment. Ivanka is pure fake. Thank you @CecileRichards for speaking truth to power!!!
— Diane (@diane32123) April 4, 2018
— ALT- Immigration (@ALT_uscis) April 4, 2018
Dear @IvankaTrump and jail bait,
You tried to bribe @PPFA to stop abortions? You do realize that the vast majority of Americans cannot be bought when it comes to deeply held convictions, right?
— Sarah Connor (@SarahConnor2017) April 4, 2018
Women's rights are not for sale.
Planned Parenthood CEO Says Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump Offered 'Bribe' to Stop Abortions https://t.co/eqwL70p8WC
— Amy Ellis (@amesplaza) April 4, 2018
Amazing. I guess Ivanka is not such a champion of women and women’s rights.
— Carolinne (@carolinnewport) April 4, 2018
Remember you've been told repeatedly that Javanka, who are registered Independents, were going to advocate for women and #LGBT from inside the @WhiteHouse.#PlannedParenthood CEO Says Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump Offered 'Bribe' to Stop Abortions https://t.co/UPq0RSNmky
— Victoria Brownworth (@VABVOX) April 4, 2018
The White House has not yet addressed the claim. Planned Parenthood has issued a statement to Yahoo Lifestyle reiterating its stance on the issue.
“As always, Planned Parenthood will do everything we can to stand up for our patients and their right to reproductive health care,” it reads. “Women’s health and rights are non-negotiable — and that includes access to safe, legal abortion. It’s a constitutional right that cannot be traded away.”
Read more from Yahoo Lifestyle:
California high schoolers plan abortion protest in response to gun violence walkout
Jessica Chastain donates to fertility treatment fund for woman who disagreed with her pro-choice views
Largest review of abortion in the U.S. found it to be ‘safe and effective’