Deliberate Parenthood’s Cecile Richards is planning to step down from her function as president after greater than a decade on the helm, in accordance with two sources accustomed to the matter.
She has served because the president of the ladies’s well being and reproductive rights group since 2006. Richards, 60, has knowledgeable at the very least some members of the group’s board of administrators, one of many sources confirmed.
In a press release offered Wednesday afternoon, a Deliberate Parenthood official mentioned, “Cecile plans to debate 2018 and the subsequent steps for Deliberate Parenthood’s future on the upcoming board assembly,” which is scheduled for late subsequent week.
Her departure would mark a big change for the nation’s most outstanding abortion rights group, a set of linked organizations generally known as the the Deliberate Parenthood Federation of America and its political arm, Deliberate Parenthood Motion Fund. Richards was the face and voice of each, as Republicans in Congress have tried repeatedly to chop their federal funding.
Throughout her time as president, Richards drastically expanded the group’s fundraising and organizing capabilities — and helped increase the its profile by way of celebrity-oriented campaigns and elevated political participation. Over the previous decade specifically, Democrats have additional embraced abortion rights as a central a part of the occasion’s platform — a shift that may be credited largely to Deliberate Parenthood’s elevated prominence below Richards.
The Deliberate Parenthood official didn’t touch upon Richards’ future. She has been engaged on a memoir, titled Make Bother, which is scheduled to return out in April.
Richards’ plans come at a tumultuous time for abortion rights activists and contraceptives entry. In its first yr, the Trump administration has peeled again state funding protections for Deliberate Parenthood, thanks partly to a dramatic tie-breaking vote solid by Vice President Mike Pence in March, his first in workplace. In October, the administration additionally rolled again an Obama-era rule requiring most employers to supply contraception insurance coverage protection, which Deliberate Parenthood had a heavy hand in crafting. That call is on maintain, nevertheless, after a federal choose in Pennsylvania granted a nationwide preliminary injunction on the brand new guidelines.
As the most important abortion supplier within the nation, Deliberate Parenthood has lengthy been an apparent goal for anti–abortion rights politicians and members of Congress. Eradicating Deliberate Parenthood’s federal funding was on a listing of 4 guarantees President Trump made to anti–abortion rights organizations to safe their help in the course of the presidential election.
Richards has additionally led the group by way of main scandal, following the discharge of secretly recorded and closely edited movies made by anti–abortion rights activist David Daleiden in 2015. The movies accused the group of profiting off of the sale of fetal tissue to procurement companies and labs for scientific analysis. These movies launched 5 congressional investigations and greater than a dozen state investigations into Deliberate Parenthood, none of which discovered proof of wrongdoing. Simply final month, the Justice Division despatched a letter to members of Congress requesting their data from these investigations, an indication that the Trump administration could also be taking one other have a look at the problem.
Richards can be on the board of the Ford Basis, and beforehand served because the president of America Votes, a coalition of nationwide Democratic Social gathering–affiliated organizations. She is the daughter of the late Texas Governor Ann Richards, a legend in Democratic politics. Earlier than becoming a member of Deliberate Parenthood, she served as deputy chief of employees for Home Minority Chief Nancy Pelosi.
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