A New York Times report published on Tuesday revealed that Ivanka Trump had proposed that Planned Parenthood be split in two during a meeting with Cecile Richards, the organization's president. Trump's suggestion entailed the establishment of a smaller branch dedicated to providing abortions while maintaining a separate, larger branch focused on general women's health services. According to the Times, officials at Planned Parenthood were unimpressed with the suggestion, considering it "naive" and "failing to understand how central reproductive choice was to the group’s mission."
The first daughter reportedly approached Richards in the weeks following her father's inauguration. Planned Parenthood Executive Vice President Dawn Laguens described the subsequent sit-down between Trump and Richards as "an explainer meeting" and mentioned that she had been interested in learning "more facts" about the organization.
Any goodwill the first daughter might have earned during that meeting was short-lived. In a March interview with BuzzFeed News, Richards criticized her for keeping quiet about her father's proposed healthcare plan, which was filled with provisions detrimental to women's health, such as completely defunding Planned Parenthood. Richards insisted it was time "for Ivanka to stand for women" and said her silence on the bill was "deafening."
Laguens agreed with Richards' stance. “You don’t get to have it both ways,” she 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.”
Trump responded to the comments during an interview with Gayle King on CBS This Morning, asking that her "lack of public denouncement" not be conflated with silence and going on to suggest that she voices her issues with policy decisions privately to her father.
And her suggestion that Planned Parenthood be divided into two branches is allegedly not the only "solution" she has come up with for the organization; The New York Times reported that the deal President Trump offered to Planned Parenthood, in which he agreed not to cut off the group's federal funds if it ceased providing abortion services, was a direct result of his oldest daughter's influence.
Planned Parenthood rejected the offer. “Let’s be clear: Federal funds already do not pay for abortions,” Laguens said. “Offering money to Planned Parenthood to abandon our patients and our values is not a deal that we will ever accept. Providing critical health care services for millions of American women is non-negotiable.”
Whether Ivanka Trump is pro-life or pro-choice is unknown. Her list of political donations reveal that she has so far given most of her financial support to Democrats, including vocal pro-choice advocates Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton. When asked directly about her views on abortion, however, Trump refuses to answer, holding that she doesn't share her views on policy and arguing, questionably, that being the president's daughter rather than the president, her stances are "irrelevant."