In her recently published memoir, outgoing Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards says that in January 2017 she and her husband met with Ivanka Trump and her husband, Jared Kushner. She claims that Kushner floated the idea that if Planned Parenthood stopped providing abortions, federal funding for the organization would proceed smoothly.
Richards, who said “it almost felt like a bribe,” is still incensed by the comment. To her, it was a ploy to make Ivanka and Jared look like “savvy dealmakers.” Richards insists she was “essentially being asked to barter away women’s rights for more money.” Which is an odd thing to say given that exploiting women for money is what Planned Parenthood does for a living.
Predictably, the Kushners are being blasted by the champions of abortion, and Richards is being received as a heroine. But why?
Richards is playing both sides of the street. When pressed why Planned Parenthood is so fixated on abortion, she and her spokeswomen point to its latest annual report (2016-2017) to show that only 3 percent of its services have anything to do with abortion. Most of its work, they say, deals with such issues as testing and treatment, cancer screening, contraception, sex education, and other women’s health services.
If this is true, then why are Richards and her fans so upset by Ivanka and Jared’s proposal?
To put it differently, if the head of a large-scale organization were given the opportunity to rid himself of a public relations nightmare—caused by a mere 3 percent of his company’s work—in exchange for assurances that the other 97 percent of its operations could continue without a snag, wouldn’t he grab the offer with dispatch? Unless, of course, the 3 percent of the organization’s work is its raison d’être.
Hugh Hefner justified his porn rag by saying that only 10 percent of Playboy featured nudity, the other 90 percent being dedicated to essays, advice columns, interviews with famous persons, and the like. Yet everyone knew that absent the photos, few would buy the magazine.
Similarly, Planned Parenthood is obsessed with abortion. It is its signature issue. Let’s face it, abortion is what makes it tick—not medication management.
Take away abortion and Planned Parenthood morphs into another run-of-the-mill clinic, driving away its donors, and enervating its passion. In short, abortion is not an option for Planned Parenthood—it is an imperative.
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