A few weeks after the inauguration of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States, his daughter, Ivanka Trump, secretly met with the head of Planned Parenthood, Politico revealed on Thursday. The meeting had not been reported before that.
Reportedly, the meeting was requested by Ivanka, who wanted to know more about how the organization worked. The meeting between the two women was meant to open up a dialogue on the heated issue of abortion, as President Trump had announced during his campaign trail that he would defund Planned Parenthood in a bid to support his pro-life stance.
“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,” executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, Dawn Laguens, told Politico. “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.”
The First Daughter has focused on advocating for women’s issues and Planned Parenthood isn’t the only progressive organization she has reached out to. According to Politico’s report, she has also met with the National Partnership for Women and Family and the National Women’s Law Center.
However, her efforts to cross partisan divides has not impressed many in the progressive movement, who claim that she can’t “have it both ways.”
“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 childcare when maternity benefits are on the chopping block,” Laguens said, reports Politico.
Cecile Richards has also criticized the first daughter publicly after their meeting, disapproving of her “deafening” silence on the GOP’s American Health Care Act.
Meanwhile, Trump defended herself and explained why she hasn’t been so outspoken about social issues.
“I would say not to conflate lack of public denouncement with silence. I think there are multiple ways to have your voice heard. In some ways, it’s through protest or calling on the nightly news and talking about or denouncing every issue which you do not agree with,” she said in an interview with CBS that aired Wednesday. “Other times it is quietly and directly and candidly – so where I disagree with my father, he knows it and I express myself with total candor where I agree.”
Ivanka and her husband, Jared Kushner, have become known as the “West Wing Democrats” as both share liberal views and have supported Democrats up until Donald Trump started his campaign for the Presidency.
Kushner, who has no political experience and is the son of a wealthy developer himself, has amassed significant power within the White House and is reportedly in the process of pushing out advisors such as Stephen Bannon and Kellyanne Conway who have embedded conservative views.