In light of the Supreme Court’s bombshell decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, a wave of celebrities took to the streets, the stage, and social media to share their outrage. But mother, businesswoman, and former White House senior advisor Ivanka Trump—whose net worth is an estimated $300 million—wasn’t among them.
Previously touted (by herself, at least) as a stalwart of women’s empowerment, the eldest daughter of former president Donald J. Trump garnered praise in 2015 for guiding her father’s approach to the “whole issue of women’s health and women,” as well as her push to implement an ambitious (though deeply flawed) 2018 initiative designed to advance the cause of women’s entrepreneurship in developing countries.
But despite her “pro-women” veneer, Trump’s silence on abortion during and after her four years in the White House—as well as her behind-the-scenes work to allegedly hamper abortion access—has critics up in arms. How can you champion women, they asked, and at the same time advocate against bodily autonomy?
Here’s everything Trump has said or implied regarding her stance on abortion to date:
February 2016: During her father’s 2016 presidential campaign, Ivanka Trump carefully evaded questioning about her position on reproductive rights by declining to speak about her views in general—like, on anything. When asked directly about being pro-choice during a February 2016 interview with Boston Public Radio host Margery Eagan, Trump replied: “I don’t talk about my politics. I don’t feel like it’s my role…. I’m the daughter. I don’t think my politics are relevant to the discussion.”
April 2018: In a memoir published in 2018, then Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richard accused Ivanka and husband Jared Kushner of attempting to bribe the organization into cutting off abortion care in exchange for increased federal funding. The offer was allegedly made during a meeting with the couple in January 2017. “Jared and Ivanka were there for one reason: to deliver a political win,” Richards recalled. “In their eyes, if they could stop Planned Parenthood from providing abortions, it would confirm their reputation as savvy dealmakers.”
November 2018: Ivanka Trump’s murky stance on reproductive rights clarified somewhat when she campaigned for Republican governor Kim Reynolds in Iowa. Her endorsement for the Reynolds, who signed what was, at the time, the most punishing abortion ban in the country, implied her alignment with the candidate’s standpoint. Ultimately the ban, known as the heartbeat law, was ruled unconstitutional in 2019. But recently Reynolds has spoken about her intent to pursue the six-week ban’s resurrection in the wake of Roe v. Wade’s rollback.
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