Retiring Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards has revealed that she rejected an offer from Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump that would have allowed the organization to retain its federal funding. Her refusal came down to one central condition: that the clinics stop performing abortions.
“The main issue, [Kushner] explained, was abortion,” wrote Richards in her new memoir, as quoted by PEOPLE. “If Planned Parenthood wanted to keep our federal funding, we would have to stop providing abortions. He described his ideal outcome: a national headline reading ‘Planned Parenthood Discontinues Abortion Services.'”
Richards went on to allege that Kushner and Trump were there “to deliver a political win” and claimed that she firmly rejected their offer because she believed it was “essentially being asked to barter away women’s rights for more money.”
“In their eyes, if they could stop Planned Parenthood from providing abortions, it would confirm their reputation as savvy dealmakers,” she continued. “It was surreal … .”
“Maybe I shouldn’t have just shut down the conversation, but I did what I thought was best,” she added.
According to a report of the meeting published by the New York Times, Ivanka Trump suggested that Planned Parenthood split into two separate organizations — one that offers abortions (and doesn’t receive federal funding) and another that does not (that keeps its federal funding). Again, this was refused by Planned Parenthood execs.
“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,” reported the New York Times.
When President Trump offered a similar deal to the abortion provider, they again rejected it, confirming the widely held belief that abortion is absolutely essential to what they do.
“Planned Parenthood’s president, Cecile Richards, is convinced that abortion is so sacred that the organization is willing to give up government subsidies rather than stop its deadly ‘service,'” stated American Life League President Judie Brown last year. “Planned Parenthood is dehumanizing women and their babies by offering anything but selfless support for expectant mothers. Nobody can ever say again that Planned Parenthood’s income is its priority. Killing is number one for this organization!”
Planned Parenthood continues to assert that abortions make up just a small percentage of a range of services provided at their clinics, but there has been continued controversy over these figures. While Planned Parenthood itself claims that abortions only make up 3 percent of all their services, this is an overtly skewed figure due to the vast amount of major and minor health care services provided by the organization.
Many have argued that Planned Parenthood intentionally pumps out these murky figures to cover up their staggeringly high numbers of abortion procedures. Of the more than 900,000 abortions performed in the country every year, it is estimated that around one-third are carried out at Planned Parenthood clinics.
Pro-life organizations such as Susan B. Anthony List come to a very different figure for Planned Parenthood’s abortion procedures: 94 percent. While this estimation also has critics, it is clear that this leading abortion provider is not being very honest when it comes to the indisputable importance of abortion procedures to its overall financial gain.
“The 3 percent figure that Planned Parenthood uses is misleading, comparing abortion services to every other service that it provides. The organization treats each service — pregnancy test, STD test, abortion, birth control — equally,” wrote Michelle Ye Hee Lee at the Washington Post. “Yet there are obvious differences between a surgical (or even medical) abortion, and offering a urine (or even blood) pregnancy test. These services are not all comparable in how much they cost or how extensive the service or procedure is.”
As Richards transitions out of her position as CEO, Life Site News reported that 3.5 million abortions have been carried out at Planned Parenthood clinics during her more than decade-long tenure.
Republicans in Congress have yet to make good on their promise to defund Planned Parenthood. In the recent, 2,200+ page, $1.3 trillion omnibus spending bill, signed by President Trump, Planned Parenthood retained its federal funding.