Cecile Richards, the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood, said during an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” that her organization is more popular than ever before — as it faces the prospect of losing its federal funding under the new administration of President Donald Trump.
“We’ve never been more popular,” Richards said Tuesday. “We just hit 10 million supporters.”
House Republicans have indicated that they will seek to strip federal funds currently granted to the organization.
When Richards defended public funding for and the actions of her organization, saying that Planned Parenthood is “the only health care provider” for some women, host Mika Brzezinski noted that “there are other health care providers” and that the question is “who to give the funding to.”
Brzezinski also asked Richards if it was fair for her to say women would lose access to health care if Planned Parenthood loses its federal funding.
“Is that what it’s really about?” Brzezinski asked. “Are women right now in jeopardy of losing their health care? Is that a fair assessment of the situation or is Planned Parenthood in jeopardy of losing its funding?”
Richards argued that community health centers would not be able to absorb Planned Parenthood’s patients.
Brzezinski asked Richards if she would be willing to meet with President Donald Trump or his daughter Ivanka to discuss her organization, and Richards replied, “Well, we definitely are hoping that they will look at the important decisions that have to be made about women's health care including Planned Parenthood.”
“I know that the president himself during the campaign said favorable things about the millions of women who are helped by Planned Parenthood,” she added.
As a candidate for president, Trump said Planned Parenthood does “some very good work,” though he also campaigned on the idea of cutting defunding the organization.
“I think the important thing here and again I hope the administration maybe is looking at this is, for women this is basic health care,” Richards added. “This is not a political statement. And if we really want to do something to build on the progress of reducing unintended pregnancy, reducing even the abortion rate in the United States, reducing teen pregnancy we should actually double down on family planning, including access to Planned Parenthood.”
Brzezinski wondered if Richards would be willing to “cut a deal of some sort with this new administration.”
“Would you come to the table?" she asked.
Richards replied, “We're always at the table. I mean we talk to everybody. I mean, because Planned Parenthood, we're non-partisan, we believe the most important thing is is that women in this country get access to the health care that they need.”