Stories surfaced yesterday morning indicating that Ivanka Trump organized a secret meeting with Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards, who routinely stumped for Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the 2016 campaign. The abortion group’s political-action arms donated $38 million to Democratic candidates last election cycle.
In her capacity as adviser to her father, Ivanka reportedly orchestrated the meeting to learn more about Planned Parenthood’s purpose and practices. The group’s executive vice president, Dawn Laguens, told Politico that Richards intended 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.”
Laguens added, “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.”
This quote illustrates exactly why it was such a big mistake for Ivanka to host this meeting, as it reveals Planned Parenthood’s complete disingenuousness about its business. Ivanka’s desire to colloquy with Richards — whether to hear her side of the story or perhaps even find common ground as the GOP pushes forward on efforts to defund Planned Parenthood — sends the message that a key White House adviser has, at least on some level, bought into the myth that the group is just one more health-care provider among many others.
Nothing could be further from the truth. First, and most importantly, Planned Parenthood is, by far, the nation’s largest abortion provider. The group performs somewhere in the realm of 325,000 abortions annually, about one-third of the abortions that take place every year in the U.S. Any effort to downplay this fact, or act as if it’s insignificant, is shameful. Negotiating with the leader of such a group shows a willingness to buy into the fallacious marketing claim made by Planned Parenthood that abortion is a mere 3 percent of its services. It’s not. And even if it were, that 3 percent would still be grossly immoral.
Laguens’s description of the meeting also exposes a typical conceit of the pro-abortion Left, that federal funding of Planned Parenthood doesn’t go toward abortion. In reality, the half a billion dollars Planned Parenthood receives from the federal government each year certainly funds abortion. Though the Hyde Amendment technically prevents government funding from directly facilitating abortion procedures, the fungibility of money necessitates that any federal money given to Planned Parenthood indirectly finances the group’s provision of abortion. This is not difficult to understand when you examine the facts without a radical pro-abortion bias. What’s more, reports indicate that some of the group’s affiliates have engaged in possible Medicaid fraud to cover up direct use of public funding for abortion.
Since the meeting, the relationship between Ivanka and Richards seems to have soured, perhaps as a result of feminist figures on the left rebuking the president’s daughter for not doing enough to curb the “anti-woman” actions taken by her father and his administration. Regardless, hosting the initial meeting was an enormous misstep, and it ought to make pro-life conservatives even more wary of Ivanka’s evident influence in the White House. It bears remembering here that President Donald Trump himself has praised Planned Parenthood for helping “millions of women.”
But no matter how many women Planned Parenthood truly assists, there is no common ground to stake out with a group that kills 325,000 children in abortions each year and systemically lies about it in order to continue receiving government funding to furnish that heinous work.