From @CecileRichards comes a story about learning to lead and make change, based on a lifetime of fighting for women’s rights and social justice. #MakeTrouble is on sale 4/3. https://t.co/yjd62L9JjR pic.twitter.com/h0nIZz9Drd— Simon & Schuster CA (@SimonSchusterCA) March 22, 2018
In her new book, Cecile Richards, Planned Parenthood’s president, said she felt “bribed” during a conversation with Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner.
In her new memoir, "Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead," Richards said that during a meeting in January 2017, President Donald Trump’s daughter offered Planned Parenthood increased federal funding if the institution stopped providing abortion services.
"Jared and Ivanka were there for one reason: to deliver a political win," Richards wrote. "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."
When talking to Planned Parenthood’s Vice President Dawn Laguens, Richards wrote that in her experience, the meeting "felt almost like a bribe."
Still, she wrote that she felt she needed to meet with them because “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,” she wrote in her memoir.
When the meeting occurred, CNN reported that the encounter had been “cordial and informative.”
“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," a spokeswoman for Planned Parenthood said at the time.
In an interview on Tuesday, Richards said that the president’s daughter is not doing what she promised when she said she would advocate for women’s rights within the White House.
"If her job is to advocate for women, I don't think she's done a very good job," Richards said. "And particularly when it comes to women's rights, we need a strong advocate in this White House."
Prior to Trump taking office, federal law prohibited Planned Parenthood from using federal funds to provide abortion services. So money received from the government could only go toward preventive care, pregnancy tests, birth control, and different health services. In April 2017, a bill signed by the president gave states the power to withhold federal money to any clinic that provides abortions.
While the organization claims that only 3 percent of its services are abortion-related, the news regarding this new bill prompted advocates across the country to act. As such, many private individuals and companies stepped up their donations to Planned Parenthood in order to help them stay afloat in the Trump era.
It’s clear that no matter what the president does, people will step in and take over if need be because they prize Planned Parenthood and the services it provides to communities across the country.