- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 6, 2017

A top executive at Planned Parenthood has confirmed a meeting between Ivanka Trump and the group’s president.

President Trump’s daughter recently used her advisory role within the administration to host a sit-down meeting with Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards, Politico reported.

“The purpose of the meeting, from Cecile’s point of view, was to make sure that Ivanka fully understood what Planned Parenthood does, how it is funded, and why it would be a terrible idea for Planned Parenthood to be removed from being able to see Medicaid patients,” Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, told Politico. “The main thing that Cecile Richards was doing was explaining that the money doesn’t actually go to abortions — we get reimbursed the same way a hospital does. We were clearing up misinformation about how this works.”

Planned Parenthood dodged a legislative bullet in late March when Republican lawmakers failed to pass health care legislation that would have stripped it of federal funding. Ms. Trump told CBC News Wednesday that abortion activists should not take her public silence on women’s issues as proof that she hasn’t used influence behind the scenes.

“Where I disagree with my father, he knows it,” she told the network.

Ms. Richards told an audience at the Women in the World conference Wednesday night that private disagreements with Mr. Trump were not good enough.

“Anyone who works in this White House is responsible for addressing why women are in the cross hairs of basically every single policy we’ve seen in this administration,” Ms. Richards said, Politico reported.

Ms. Trump declined to comment for the website’s story.

The conservative website Hot Air said agreeing to such a meeting was a rookie mistake on Ms. Trump’s part.

“Chalk this up to political naïveté, and perhaps some tone deafness,” writer Ed Morrissey said Thursday. “Ivanka might be more liberal than her father — she’s been pushing for mandatory paid family leave, among other things — but Donald Trump has worked hard to put forward a tough pro-life line for two years, and has followed it up in office, at least so far. The last thing Trump needs while fighting for his agenda on health-care reform is a connection to Planned Parenthood, especially as the fight pits him against Freedom Caucus members who could seize on that to paint Trump as too moderate to trust.

“With pro-abortion groups like PP and NAF [The National Abortion Federation], you’re either a true believer, a heretic, or an apostate,” Mr. Morrissey wrote. “They aren’t interested in back channels, especially not with Republican administrations. Ivanka did nothing but make herself a target for Richards et al.”

• Douglas Ernst can be reached at dernst@washingtontimes.com.

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