For years, Ivanka Kushner has avoided confirming her views on abortion. The Kushners have long been seen as the leaders of the socially liberal faction of the Trump Administration, and commentators such as Tucker Carlson have often pinpointed their influence in the White House as a negative for conservatives. But this week, Vanity Fair reported that Ivanka Kushner has come out as pro-life:
In an interview with RealClearPolitics published Thursday, on the eve of an election in which evangelicals are expected to back her dad just like they did in 2016, Ivanka said that when it comes to abortion, while she “respect[s] all sides of a very personal and sensitive discussion…I am also a mother of three children, and parenthood affected me in a profound way in terms of how I think about these things.” She added: “I am pro-life, and unapologetically so.” (A White House aide said “a huge driving part of” the first daughter’s pro-life stance is “where the Democratic Party has gone,” without explaining what that meant.)
While this is reportedly the first time Ivanka has publicly and unequivocally stated that she opposes abortion, it’s not the first time there have been hints that she didn’t believe in a woman’s right to choose…In 2017, she and her husband, Jared Kushner, quietly reached out to then Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards and told her that if the organization wanted to continue to keep its federal funding, it would have to stop providing abortions, offering an increase if it would agree to do so, according to Richards’s memoir. (Obviously, she did not take the deal.) Earlier this week, Ivanka tweeted a photo of Judge Amy Coney Barrett at a White House gathering celebrating her confirmation to the Supreme Court.
Interestingly, the fact that the Kushners reached out to Planned Parenthood was seen by the pro-life movement as evidence of their squishiness on the abortion issue, not the other way around. They ran in liberal circles for years (although they’ve been evicted from most of them now), and I suspect these pro-life views are very recent. That said, she’s been avoiding public statements on the matter for years and there’s scarcely any reason for her to say them now, so it appears she may have had a change of heart on the issue.
In a recent interview, I asked Marjorie Dannenfelser for personal anecdotes about President Trump’s pro-life convictions. You can listen to that here: