Ivanka Trump, daughter of U.S. President Donald Trump, reportedly held a secret meeting with Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards, where the two sought "common ground" on the issue of abortion.
Politico said on Thursday that the "under-the-radar" meeting had not been previously reported, and apparently occurred in the weeks following President Trump's inauguration in January.
"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," explained Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
"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."
But pro-lifers argue that even though Medicaid and Title X funding do not directly pay for abortion, the funding does ultimately support abortion because it covers overhead for locations that perform abortions, according to LifeSite News.
Eric Scheidler, executive director of the Pro-Life Action League, also called out Richards for her claim that only three percent of Planned Parenthood's services involve abortion.
"'The three percent myth,' we call it, is totally inaccurate ... abortion is far more significant at Planned Parenthood than that would suggest," he said.
American conservative political commentator Bill Shapiro pointed out on his talk show that the Planned Parenthood CEO has continued criticizing the first daughter for not speaking out against her father's efforts to defund the organization.
Shapiro called Trump a "career leftist on a variety of issues, from climate change to abortion to same-sex marriage. Her speech at the Republican National Convention was an ode to government-sponsored child care."
He added that "Ivanka is the person closest to Trump's heart in the administration, an administration filled with people with little political background who compete to demonstrate their loyalty to the president.
"Ivanka will not be trumped on this regard. That means she may have her father's ear, even on issues upon which they disagree. And that is not a good thing."
So far, the Trump administration has made several moves that pleased pro-lifers, including the reinstatement of the Mexico City Policy, which bans government funds for international groups that provide or promote abortion, and ending support for the United Nations Population Fund because the group "supports, or participates in the management of, a program of coercive abortion or involuntary sterilization." The administration also reportedly made an informal proposal to Planned Parenthood to stop doing abortions completely in order to keep its federal assistance under Trump.
But pro-lifers are worried about Ivanka Trump's influence on the administration, especially with her new official role in the White House.
LifeSite News noted that Trump and husband Jared Kushner have backed positions that do not align with conservative values, such as their support for gay marriage.
"Ivanka's potential influence on the administration is considered especially pertinent given her father's past fluid and at-times dubious take on Planned Parenthood and abortion," LifeSite News said.
The Conservative Review also argued that the "only conceivable purpose" of the Trump-Richards meeting was "to pitch the liberal lies and talking points directly to the president — to move the administration further leftward."
"Liberal organizations have a direct influence on White House policy" due to Ivanka Trump, the Review noted.