People is reporting that, in her new book, outgoing Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards “felt like” she was being bribed by Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner with the promise of more federal funding for her organization in exchange for a halt to abortions.
The magazine reports:
In a riveting passage from Cecile Richards’ new memoir, the Planned Parenthood chief says Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump were, during Donald Trump’s 2016 transition as president-elect, so eager to be recognized as shrewd political dealmakers that the soon-to-be first daughter and her husband made an offer that felt like a “bribe”: an increase in federal funding for Planned Parenthood in exchange for its agreement to stop providing abortions.
In April 2017, Politico reported that Ivanka Trump had an “under-the-radar” meeting with Richards to discuss possible “common ground” on the issue of abortion.
The report indicated Ivanka initiated the meeting, though People indicates Richards “reached out” for the meeting. According to Politico:
The first daughter requested a sit-down with Cecile Richards, the head of Planned Parenthood and a vocal surrogate for Hillary Clinton on the 2016 campaign trail, to talk about an organization that is being targeted by Republicans seeking to defund it because it provides abortions, among other women’s health services like cancer screenings.
Their under-the-radar meeting — a rarity between a well-known Democratic activist and a close adviser to a Republican president — has not been previously reported.
However, the People report states Richards “was urged by a ‘friendly acquaintance in the fashion industry’ to reach out to President Trump’s daughter Ivanka for a meeting.”
“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 reportedly says in her book titled Make Trouble.
Richards reportedly adds she accepted the meeting because she was hoping to find new allies in Ivanka and Jared – who appeared more moderate than then-President-Elect Donald Trump.
According to People, Richards felt she needed her husband, Kirk Adams, with her at the meeting.
“While she was confident about her talking points, she writes that she ‘begged’ her husband, Kirk Adams, to join her after she learned that Ivanka Trump’s husband, Jared Kushner, would also be in attendance,” the magazine reports.
Richards reportedly states in her book that Kushner told her Planned Parenthood “had made a big mistake by becoming ‘political.’”
“The main issue was abortion,” Richards reportedly 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.’”
Richards reportedly adds Kushner said federal funding for Planned Parenthood would increase if abortions were halted, but that she refused such a deal.
“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,” Richards apparently said to Ivanka and Kushner.
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
In describing the meeting later to her colleagues at Planned Parenthood, Richards reportedly writes, “Honestly, it felt almost like a bribe.”
“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,” she reportedly said.