The president of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards, is stepping down after more than a decade leading the organization, Politico reported. The departure comes as Donald Trump and Republicans try to dismantle critical funding to the group, including a family planning program and Medicaid.
The move also comes after her mic drop moment Sunday at the 2018 Women’s March when she applauded Black women for electing progressive candidates in 2017, effectively stopping the GOP’s political momentum.
“So, White women, listen up. We’ve got to do better. … It is not up to women of color to save this country from itself. That’s on all of us. That’s on all of us,” Richards said.
The Trump administration is spearheading an effort to eliminate taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood as part of its anti-abortion agenda. As a result, the president is supporting state legislatures that want to eliminate the organization from public health programs.
The group has 650 affiliate health centers nationwide, including standalone clinics and satellite offices, providing services to nearly three million patients, of whom 15 percent are African American and 24 percent are Latino.
The range of services include preventative health care, birth control, and prenatal care. Abortions represent only about 3 percent of services. The group also provides an estimated 360,000 breast exams annually, and screenings and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases represent an estimated 42 percent of services provided.
Richards, 60, became president of the organization in 2006. Her steady hand at the helm helped guide Planned Parenthood through the controversy the emerged after conservative activists released secretly recorded videos that claimed to show Planned Parenthood officials talking about sales of fetal tissue. Although investigations exonerate the organization, political foes continued to use it as a weapon.
Many are wondering if Richards has political aspirations. Richards is no stranger to the political arena. She’s the daughter of former Texas Gov. Ann Richards and served as deputy chief of staff to House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.