Cecile Richards, the outgoing president of Planned Parenthood, recalls meeting with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump in January 2017. During the sit-down, Richards says, the couple offered an increase in federal funding for her organization if the group agreed to stop performing abortions.
The claim was made in a recently released book by Richards titled, "Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead."
Recalling the meeting, Richards wrote, "Honestly, it felt almost like a bribe. If Planned Parenthood wanted to keep our federal funding, we would have to stop providing abortions."
Richards said "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. It was surreal, essentially being asked to barter away women's rights for more money."
In another swipe at Ivanka Trump, Richards said to CNN on Tuesday, "If her job is to advocate for women, I don't think she's done a very good job. And particularly when it comes to women's rights, we need a strong advocate in this White House."
While House Speaker Paul Ryan announced last year that the GOP would move to strip Planned Parenthood of its federal funding, the recent omnibus spending bill passed last month secured continued government support for the entity. Each year, the group receives roughly $500 million in federal dollars.
Missing the opportunity to cut Planned Parenthood's funding through the spending package is an additional threat to Republicans leading up to the 2018 midterm elections.
Tom McClusky, a spokesman for March for Life, said of the measure, "We did not elect this Congress or president to maintain the status quo on health care, which funds abortion. It is incredibly disheartening that conscience language was not included especially given that it is reflective of the majority of Americans' views in addition to the fact that for 10 years strong this has been a priority for pro-life groups, who received assurance from leadership that it was also a priority."
It's prohibited by federal law to use taxpayer funds for abortions, which Planned Parenthood claims makes up roughly 3 percent of the organization's services. The group claims it uses government dollars for services like preventative health care, pregnancy tests and birth control.