In an interview with Cosmopolitan published Wednesday, Richards discussed the president’s first 100 days in office and how the country needs to hold the first daughter accountable for her actions (or lack thereof) on women’s issues.
When asked if Trump has shown any signs of being an ally to women, Richards did not mince words. As one of the highest-ranking women in the White House, Richards said, Trump has a responsibility to the women of the U.S. that she’s now quite literally working for as an employee of the federal government.
“Her portfolio is women’s issues ― or, it includes all women’s issues. So this is her job,” Richards told Cosmopolitan. “And for the first three months of this administration, women have seen an unrelenting attack on every fundamental right that we’ve achieved, and particularly that we’ve achieved over the last eight years in getting equity and health care access.”
Richards said that when it comes to working in the White House, words don’t matter ― actions do.
“It’s a responsibility of everyone in this White House. And words don’t matter. What women want to see is what’s the action,” Richards said. “And so [Ivanka] has a lot of responsibility now, and she has a responsibility of women all around this country ― you can’t talk about child care or entrepreneurism and take women off of health care benefits, deny their access to Planned Parenthood, deny their access to maternity benefits, charge them more for health insurance coverage.”
“So, that’s a long way of saying not only Ivanka Trump, but everyone who works for this administration, has a decision to make here about whether they’re going to stand on the side of women and allow women to move forward in this country and this economy, or whether they’re going to roll back years of progress,” she added.
Richards also addressed the news that Trump was booed at a recent summit in Germany after defending her father and telling the crowd that he’s “a tremendous champion” for women and families.
The fact that Trump is the president’s daughter should be “irrelevant” at this point, the Planned Parenthood president said.
“She actually works for the federal government. She’s now an employee for all of us. She chose that role. So now, if she’s not comfortable standing up for what she believes in for women, then she perhaps needs to think about that,” Richards said.
“This isn’t a personality thing. Millions of women’s lives are at stake, in this country and around the globe,” she continued. “The first act this president took the first day in office was to repeal maternal and child health benefits for women around the world, to end access to HIV and Zika screening for women. Women around the world are going to be impacted by the decisions that this president has already made, and anyone who works for him and takes a job in this government should be held accountable.”
The Planned Parenthood president added that without advocating for women, Trump can’t keep his promise to boost our economy ― women are half of the population.
“President Trump was elected saying he wanted to create jobs and rebuild our economy,” she said. “You cannot do that and leave half of the economy behind and so, fundamentally, his promises to the country are at odds with what they are trying to do to roll back women’s access to health care and opportunities to plan their families.”
Head over to Cosmopolitan to read the full interview.