Planned Parenthood CEO: I Shut Down Kushner's Abortion Idea

Cecile Richards writes he suggested a trade: money for no more abortions
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 4, 2018 9:40 AM CDT
Planned Parenthood CEO: Kushner Had Idea That Felt Like 'Bribe'
White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, left, Ivanka Trump, and Jared Kushner, a White House senior adviser, listen as President Trump speaks during a Cabinet meeting at the White House on March 8, 2018, in Washington.   (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards' new memoir dropped Tuesday, and one passage in it is getting some attention. People reports that Richards writes of being encouraged by a "friendly acquaintance in the fashion industry" to reach out to Ivanka Trump in the wake of Hillary Clinton's loss, amid Richards' search for a "potential ally" in the incoming administration. In Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead, Richards writes Jared Kushner accompanied Ivanka to the resulting January 2017 meeting and made her an offer that tasted like a "bribe": cease all abortions and not just keep federal funding—CNBC reports Planned Parenthood gets in excess of $500 million annually for non-abortion services—but see an increase.

She explains that her intention going into the meeting was to make sure the couple was aware of the vital health-care services Planned Parenthood provides; she says Kushner told her the organization "had made a big mistake by becoming 'political'" and then zeroed in on abortion. "He described his ideal outcome," she wrote: "A national headline reading 'Planned Parenthood Discontinues Abortion Services.'" He wanted her to "move fast," and Richards writes that she felt like the couple's motivation was obvious: to hand President Trump a quick and early win and "confirm their reputation as savvy dealmakers." She says she made it clear that option was dead on arrival. CNBC notes the spending bill that Trump signed in March didn't go after Planned Parenthood's funding. (More Planned Parenthood stories.)

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