White House staffer Ivanka Trump requested a meeting with the president of Planned Parenthood shortly after the presidential inauguration in January, according to the organization.
Politico first reported Thursday that Trump, who has come under fire for her apparent failure to moderate her father’s at times extreme presidency, reached out to Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards and leaders of other groups, including the National Women’s Law Center and National Partnership for Women and Family, according to unnamed sources.
BuzzFeed reported that the meeting quietly took place in January.
In a statement to TPM, Planned Parenthood Federation of America confirmed that “Cecile Richards and Ivanka Trump had a cordial and informative meeting shortly after the inauguration.”
“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,” the statement continued. “It was also important to clear up any misinformation regarding the Medicaid reimbursements Planned Parenthood receives and explain that Planned Parenthood is reimbursed the same way hospitals are. It’s not a budget line item.”
“Senior staff at the White House, including Ivanka Trump, play an influential role in shaping the Administration’s policy and negotiations with Congress, which has a profound impact on women’s health and lives,” it added.
Dawn Laguens, Planned Parenthood’s executive vice president, told Politico that the meeting was “an explainer meeting” and said that Trump had expressed an interest in wanting “to know more about the facts of Planned Parenthood.”
A day prior to Politico’s report, as Planned Parenthood pointed out in their statement, Richards spoke critically at the Women in the World Summit of Trump’s advocacy for women’s issues in her father’s administration.
“Anyone who works in this White House is responsible for addressing why women are in the crosshairs of basically every single policy we’ve seen in this administration,” Richards said on stage.
Trump herself responded to critics’ charge that she was “complicit” in her father’s administration on Tuesday by saying that, “If being complicit is wanting to be a force of good and to make a positive impact, then I’m complicit.”
She also said in the interview that “I think most of the impact I have, over time, most people will not actually know about.”
On March 30, Vice President Mike Pence cast a tie-breaking vote in the Senate to roll back an Obama administration rule, implemented in February, that barred states from discriminating against reproductive health care providers, including Planned Parenthood, in their distribution of federal funds.
The American Health Care Act, Republicans’ bill to repeal and replace Obamacare, would have prohibited the use of government tax credits to buy insurance plans that cover abortion, and would have cut $200 million from Planned Parenthood over 10 years. It also would have eliminated Obamacare’s Essential Health Benefits, which specified areas of coverage, including maternal care, that every health care plan under the Affordable Care Act was required to include.
The bill was withdrawn after failing to garner sufficient support within the Republican Party.
“You don’t get to have it both ways,” Laguens told Politico. “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.”