Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards writes in her upcoming memoir that Jared Kushner offered to increase federal funding for the organization if it agreed to stop providing abortions, People reported on Tuesday.
Richards writes in “Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead,” that she met with Kushner and Ivanka Trump during the Trump transition.
During the meeting, Kushner told Richards that the nonprofit “had made a big mistake by becoming ‘political,’ ” according to the passage reported on by People.
“The main issue, he explained, was abortion. If Planned Parenthood wanted to keep our federal funding, we would have to stop providing abortions,” Richards writes. “He described his ideal outcome: a national headline reading ‘Planned Parenthood Discontinues Abortion Services.’”
Kushner told the Planned Parenthood CEO that funding could increase for the group if they agreed to the plan, but that they would have to “move fast.”
“If it wasn’t crystal clear before, it was now. Jared and Ivanka were there for one reason: to deliver a political win. In their eyes, if they could stop Planned Parenthood from providing abortions, it would confirm their reputation as savvy dealmakers,” Richards writes, according to People. “It was surreal, essentially being asked to barter away women’s rights for more money.”
She told Kushner there was “no way” the plan would work and that the group’s mission “is to care for women who need us, and that means caring for all of their reproductive needs — including safe and legal abortion.”
Richards writes that she later filled in Planned Parenthood executive vice president Dawn Laguens, telling her that “honestly, it felt almost like a bribe,” according to the magazine.
“I know there are people who will disagree with me, and maybe I shouldn’t have just shut down the conversation, but I did what I thought was best,” Richards writes.
Republicans have long targeted federal funding for Planned Parenthood over the group offering abortions.
The Trump administration rescinded Obama-era guidance earlier this year that made it more difficult for states to defund Planned Parenthood.