Yesterday, the release of Richards’ memoir “Make Trouble” revealed that an “off-the-record” meeting apparently transpired between Richards, Richards’ husband, and the White House power couple. According to Richards, Kushner argued that a GOP-controlled federal government left Planned Parenthood with few avenues of political leverage.
Accordingly, Jared allegedly presented Richards a “deal” of sorts: “If Planned Parenthood wanted to keep [our] federal funding, we would have to stop providing abortions.” The bargain would involve a potential reward for Planned Parenthood, in the form of a possible bump in taxpayer funding that Jared himself allegedly would propose to House Speaker Paul Ryan. President Trump has made the same offer publicly.
Richards shares that she regarded the offer as a “bribe” and felt it was a publicity sham Ivanka and Jared organized to showcase their bargaining skills. Richards proudly turned down the proposal, revealing to readers that she felt “deeply afraid for the future of women in America.”
Richards’ vignette clumsily attempts to portray her as a heroic champion of women. She turned down the chance at more money for Planned Parenthood because she is such an advocate of women’s “health care” and is so readily concerned with the “future of women in America.” For an organization that aborts roughly 320,000 babies per year—presumably translating to roughly 160,000 baby girls each year—such a statement seems darkly rich.
We are constantly inundated with claims that Planned Parenthood provides other services and that abortion is “only 3% of services” (which is hogwash). Yet Richards’ admission to turning down more funding in order to rescue Planned Parenthood’s abortion activities reveals abortion’s importance to the organization, despite public protests stating otherwise. It is not simply “one of many services” at Planned Parenthood—as Richards reveals to readers, it is the service of Planned Parenthood.
Richards’ desire to smear Ivanka and Jared by “exposing” this rendezvous will most likely not have the effects Richards believes it will, further evidencing the abortion industry’s disconnect from most Americans’ distaste with taxpayer funding for abortion. One could argue Richards’ description of the episode is part of a backhanded attempt to undercut Ivanka’s support among more liberal factions—third to Melania and Donald, Ivanka is one of the more popular members of the Trump family. However, Richards’ attempt will mostly likely fall flat, and for good reason.
A nationwide poll published last year by Marist Polls revealed that a supermajority of Americans opposes using public money for abortion, while only 35 percent support doing so. The results are even more dramatically against funding abortions overseas, known as the “Mexico City policy.” More than 80 percent of Americans oppose using tax dollars to finance abortions abroad. The same poll disclosed that almost six in ten Americans believe abortion is morally wrong and “nearly three-quarters (74%) want abortion restricted to, at most, the first trimester.”
It is clear from Richards’ language that she presumes this episode will bring her accolades from women across the country, but her laughable self-confidence only reveals her disconnect from American public sentiments towards ending human life and commoditizing murder.
Furthermore, instead of pushing Americans away from Ivanka and Jared, the episode may bring some voters closer to the controversial couple. The details of Ivanka and Jared’s “off-the-record” meeting may ingratiate conservatives more to the duo, who, for the majority of Trump’s presidency, have fended off accusations that they are far too liberal for influencing a Republican administration. These charges have been reasonable, given Ivanka’s active campaigning on behalf of doubling the child-care tax credit and government family-leave mandates.
Richards, the face of Planned Parenthood, recently revealed her intent to step down following more than a decade running the country’s largest abortion provider. It seems Richards timed the release of her book with her impending departure from the organization. Given that Planned Parenthood has lost total clients during her tenure, it looks like she’s fleeing a ship she helped sink, and this incident is one more example of her penchant for undermining her own goals.