The incident, which Richards' details in her newly released memoir, Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead, reportedly happened between the 2016 election and Trump's inauguration.
“The main issue, he explained, was abortion,” Richards writes, according to People. “If Planned Parenthood wanted to keep our federal funding, we would have to stop providing abortions. He described his ideal outcome: a national headline reading 'Planned Parenthood Discontinues Abortion Services.'”
Richards later said the exchange felt like a “bribe” and that it was “crystal clear” they wanted a “political win” for the Trump administration.
“If it wasn’t crystal clear before, it was now. Jared and Ivanka were there for one reason: to deliver a political win,” she writes. “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. It takes a lot to get Kirk mad, but it looked like his head was about to explode.” (Kirk being Richards' husband, Kirk Adams.)
While the GOP and the Trump administration have been famously against Planned Parenthood—the latter even threatening to defund them—Richards said she took the meeting for her patients.
“Even if there was only a sliver of a chance of changing anyone’s mind, I owed it to Planned Parenthood patients to at least take the meeting,” she said. But in the end, Richards put her patients' care above all. “Our mission is to care for women who need us, and that means caring for all of their reproductive needs—including safe and legal abortion,” she recalls saying during the meeting.
As Planned Parenthood remains funded, it seems she made the right move for the organization. Cecile Richards' memoir Make Trouble is out now.
More from Complex