President Donald Trump’s daughter Ivanka met in an “under-the-radar” meeting with Planned Parenthood president and CEO Cecile Richards to discuss possible “common ground” on the issue of abortion, says Politico.
According to the news report, Ivanka Trump initiated the meeting:
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.
The outreach, however, has “soured,” says Politico, since the president’s daughter took on an official position within Trump’s administration.
Richards has publicly criticized Ivanka as the administration pushed the American Health Care Act (AHCA), which contained a provision to eliminate Planned Parenthood’s taxpayer funding for one year and redirect it to other more numerous community health care centers that provide more expansive health services.
“It’s time for Ivanka to … stand for women,” Richards told BuzzFeed, referring to Ivanka’s silence on the AHCA as “deafening.”
“I would say not to conflate lack of public denouncement with silence,” Ivanka told Gayle King in a CBS interview Wednesday:
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.
In March, the Trump administration informed Planned Parenthood the chain would have to quit performing abortions in order to keep its federal taxpayer funding.
Richards rejected the offer, stating that Planned Parenthood is “proud to provide abortion,” which it considers to be a “necessary service that’s as vital to our mission as birth control or cancer screenings.”
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
Planned Parenthood has been under investigation since the summer of 2015 after undercover journalists exposed an alleged fetal tissue operation. The allegations that Planned Parenthood sells the body parts of aborted babies for a profit led to multiple congressional investigations. Ultimately, the Senate Judiciary Committee and the House Select Investigative Panel have referred Planned Parenthood Federation of America, several of the largest Planned Parenthood affiliates in the country, and three of their business associates in the fetal tissue procurement industry to the FBI and U.S. Department of Justice for criminal prosecution.
Planned Parenthood performs over 300,000 abortions per year and receives a half billion dollars annually in taxpayer funding.
A recent Marist poll found that 61 percent of Americans oppose taxpayer funding of abortion, including 40 percent of those who say they are “pro-choice,” and 41 percent of Democrats.