President Donald Trump is an outspoken (and often mistaken) critic of Planned Parenthood. So it makes complete sense that his daughter and recently appointed assistant, Ivanka Trump, would attempt to assuage tensions between the nonprofit and an administration committed to defunding it.
Ivanka Trump met with representatives from Planned Parenthood, including its president, Cecile Richards, in January to discuss the organization's efforts and clarify any misconceptions the president might have about its work. The meeting was first reported by Politico and confirmed by Planned Parenthood in a statement the organization shared with POPSUGAR.
"Cecile Richards and Ivanka Trump had a cordial and informative meeting shortly after the inauguration," read the statement from Planned Parenthood. "The purpose of the meeting, from Planned Parenthood's perspective, was to make sure that Ivanka Trump fully understood the important role Planned Parenthood plays in providing health care to millions of people and why it would be a disastrous idea to block people from accessing care at Planned Parenthood."
The meeting was also an opportunity for Planned Parenthood to elucidate any confusion the White House might have about its activities. "It was also important to clear up any misinformation regarding the Medicaid reimbursements Planned Parenthood receives and explain that Planned Parenthood is reimbursed the same way hospitals are," the statement added. "It's not a budget line item."
However, the administration has continued to demonstrate its apparent lack of knowledge about Planned Parenthood's operations — or simply regard for the care and services it provides — and its leadership has moved toward allowing states to defund the organization at will.
In the statement, Planned Parenthood maintained it is still willing to work with the administration going forward. "Planned Parenthood welcomes the opportunity to meet with anyone to talk about the important role Planned Parenthood plays in providing health care to millions of people and ensure they have the facts."
Echoing Cecile Richards's speech at the Women in the World Summit on April 5, Planned Parenthood emphasized that all White House employees need to answer to the idea that women should be penalized for requiring access to health care.
"Anyone who works in this White House is responsible for addressing why women are in the crosshairs of basically every single policy we've seen in this administration," Richards said.