Political News

Planned Parenthood chief says Trump administration is 'the worst for women that I've seen in my lifetime'

Posted April 21, 2018 8:42 p.m. EDT

— Outgoing Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards is slamming the Trump administration, dubbing it "the worst for women that I've seen in my lifetime."

Richards' comments came during an interview with CNN's Van Jones on his show Saturday, as she recalled a "disappointing" January 2017 meeting at the White House with Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

"I wouldn't say I had high expectations for the meeting going in," Richards told Jones, "but certainly my position is that anywhere I can go to talk about the incredible work that Planned Parenthood does, particularly to provide affordable healthcare for millions of folks every year, then I'll do it."

Richards, who is planning on stepping down as president next month, told Jones that the meeting centered on what felt like a "bribe" offered by Kushner -- if Planned Parenthood would stop providing abortions, the organization would be eligible for more federal funding.

"It was pretty clear that at least what was in Jared's mind was that if we would just simply quit providing safe and legal abortion to women in this country, he would talk to Paul Ryan about us getting us money or perhaps more money. I said, 'look, we are not going to trade away women's rights in this country for money,'" Richards said.

"It didn't end well," she added.

However, she told Jones, she felt like she had ultimately "made her point," and noted wryly that "today Paul Ryan is retiring and Planned Parenthood stores are still open all across the country."

Asked by Jones what she wished Ivanka Trump would do in her role as an influential figure in the administration, Richards replied that "pretty much anything" could help.

"She's the daughter of the President, but, putting that aside, she's actually one of the highest-ranking women in the White House ...there are a number of places in which she could be making an impact," she told Jones.

"But we are seeing that this administration is the worst for women that I've seen in my lifetime," she added.