The Corner

Politics & Policy

In Meeting with Ivanka, Cecile Richards Shows Her Hand on Abortion

A few months ago, Ivanka Trump organized a private meeting with Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, and, until recently, the details of their discussion has been kept under wraps. But a New York Times profile on the First Daughter from earlier this week contained a largely overlooked section about that meeting, and it reveals how sincerely dedicated Planned Parenthood is to providing abortion-on-demand as its central “service.”

At the time of the meeting, Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood’s executive vice president, told Politico that Richards would “make sure that Ivanka fully understood . . . why it would be a terrible idea for Planned Parenthood to be removed from being able to see Medicaid patients” and explain “that the [federal] money doesn’t actually go to abortions.”

Because of the lack of clarity about what actually transpired during the meeting, some pro-lifers were concerned that the Trump administration might be more open to compromise with Planned Parenthood than they had hoped, especially given Ivanka’s reputation for being more progressive when it comes to “women’s rights.”

The NYT profile tells a different story:

[Ivanka] had a proposal: Planned Parenthood should split in two, Ms. Trump suggested, with a smaller arm to provide abortions and a larger one devoted to women’s health services. White House officials said Ms. Trump was trying to find a common-sense solution amid the roar of abortion politics. But Planned Parenthood officials said they thought Ms. Trump’s advice was naïve, failing to understand how central reproductive choice was to the group’s mission. [Emphasis added.]

This, from the group that has loudly insisted for years that its annual half a billion dollars in public funding never pays for abortion and that abortion is just one service among many crucial health options provided to women. Planned Parenthood’s executives repeatedly promise the American public that abortion is a mere 3 percent of its services, despite numerous articles debunking that false statistic, despite the fact that the group provides something in the realm of 325,000 thousand such procedures every year, making it the biggest provider of abortion in the nation.

Ivanka’s solution is one that even many pro-lifers would find acceptable. If Planned Parenthood were to split into financially distinct organizations, the federal money given to the group’s non-abortion arm ostensibly would never cross over into funding abortion as it does now, given the fungibility of money.

That makes Richards’s refusal incredibly significant. Abortion is indeed “central” to Planned Parenthood; it is the most profitable “service” the group offers. Perhaps that’s why the group’s executives regularly impose strict abortion quotas on its clinics, rewarding those facilities that convince more women to have abortions, a fact revealed by former Planned Parenthood workers.

The fact that Richards spurned Ivanka’s compromise shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone who sees the group for what it truly is: first and foremost, an abortion corporation. What should surprise us is how Planned Parenthood still manages to deceive so many Americans into believing that it is anything but.

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