Politics

Ivanka Trump Secretly Met With Planned Parenthood Head

| by Sheena Vasani

Shortly after her father was inaugurated as president, first daughter Ivanka Trump had a secret meeting with the head of Planned Parenthood.

Ivanka requested an "explainer meeting" with Cecile Richards, the head of the women's health care organization, reports Politico. Republicans seek to block funding from Planned Parenthood because it also provides abortions.

"The purpose of the meeting, from Cecile’s point of view, was to make sure that Ivanka fully understood what Planned Parenthood does, how it is funded, and why it would be a terrible idea for Planned Parenthood to be removed from being able to see Medicaid patients," said Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. "The main thing that Cecile Richards was doing was explaining that the money doesn’t actually go to abortions -- we get reimbursed the same way a hospital does. We were clearing up misinformation about how this works."

But it appears the two were not able to develop much of a relationship afterwards.

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Since then, Richards and the rest of Planned Parenthood have repeatedly condemned the first daughter in public.

Laguens particularly criticizes Ivanka because she promotes herself as a supporter of women's empowerment, saying her silence over her father's administration's actions say otherwise.

"You don’t get to have it both ways," Laguens said. "You don’t get to say, I’m all for economic empowerment, and ignore that 30 percent of wage gains are directly attributable to access to birth control. You don’t get to say women should have great child care when maternity benefits are on the chopping block."

Richards has also publicly condemned Ivanka since the meeting.

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"It’s time for Ivanka to ... stand for women,” Richards said when Ivanka remained silent about the American Health Care Act, a Republican health care bill, The Hill reports.

Richards again criticized Ivanka at the Women of the World conference in New York on April 5.

"Anyone who works in this White House is responsible for addressing why women are in the cross hairs of basically every single policy we've seen in this administration," Richards said.

Ivanka later defended herself against such criticisms in an interview with CBS that aired earlier that same day.

"I would say not to conflate lack of public denouncement with silence," she said, adding that she is certainly vocal in the White House. 

"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."

Sources: Politico (2), The Hill / Photo credit: Michael Vadon/Wikimedia Commons

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