Cecile Richards, the American pro-choice activist who has served as the president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund since 2006 is stepping down as its president.
Richards led the organization for 12 years drawing huge changes and developments to people and some many were life saving.
Richards could offer the organization membership donor support and political clout during her leadership but on-the other side itself in constant conflict with social conservatives for its role as the leading abortion provider in the United States.
The organization provides a range of health services at clinics nationwide, including birth control, cancer screenings and tests for sexually transmitted diseases. Republicans in Congress tried repeatedly to cut off federal funding that helps subsidize Planned Parenthood’s services to some patients, and several congressional committees investigated the organization’s role in providing post-abortion fetal tissue to researchers.
Richards’ resignation didn’t not completely uproot her involvement in the betterment of the society, in a statement Friday, she said she would remain engaged in political activism ahead of the November elections.
“There has never been a better moment to be an activist,” said Richards, who was a featured speaker in Las Vegas at one of last weekend’s largest women’s marches.
Richards was awarded Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship in 2010 and in
2012, she was enlisted in Time magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World
The 60 year old, Richards, was a union organizer and deputy chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, among other roles, before joining planned Parenthood.
Richards, the daughter of former Texas Gov. Ann Richards said Planned Parenthood helped grow its base of supporters from 3 million to 11 million and build its donor base to its largest ever. She highlighted a notable expansion of services to LGBT people, including sharp increases in HIV testing and the provision of hormone therapy for transgender patients.
Image Source: J. Scott Applewhite / AP