After 15 years of running one of the Planned Parenthood abortion businesses’ top affiliates, the CEO of Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky is retiring. Betty Cockrum recently said that running the abortion business is just no fun anymore.
According to news reports, Cockrum said she plans to retire in June after 15 years heading the abortion company. Planned Parenthood of Indiana and Kentucky operates 19 clinics that do abortions or refer women for abortions.
“You got to talk to yourself to even get out of bed right now, and we do,” Cockrum told the Indiana Daily Student earlier this month. “We have to get up, and we have to put one foot in front of the other, and we have to motivate each other, and we have to push one another.”
Every morning, Cockrum said she tells herself, “Get out of bed, Betty,” to keep herself motivated.
“When your fellow CEOs say, ‘It’s just no fun anymore. It just gets harder by the day,’ that’s tough,” Cockrum said. “You just got to go shoulder to shoulder and keep each other going.”
The change in leadership comes as Planned Parenthood is facing increased opposition around the country and the possibility of decreased government funding.
“It’s been a roller coaster ride,” Cockrum, 63, told IBJ. “The extraordinary abiding support is significant, and that’s more true today than ever.”
In a classified ad, Planned Parenthood said the next president and CEO “must boldly take on the challenge and opportunity to shape public policy as well as to engage new advocates who will continue the fight for reproductive choice and justice.”
The organization has 170 employees and an annual budget of $16 million.
Cockrum said the job was “physically exhausting and mentally exhausting.”
“There were those mornings where I would think, ‘OK, I’m just going to get up and do this again,’” she said in the interview. “Whatever this day brings, I’m going to get up and face it and do the best I can.”
The leaders of the state pro-life group Indiana Right to Life talked with LifeNews about the abortion activist’s decision to quit.
Cathie Humbarger, Indiana Right to Life Vice President of Policy Enforcement, told LifeNews, “Cockrum has admitted her work is no fun anymore. She told the Indiana University student paper that she has to talk herself out of bed each mornin.”
“We can understand why she’s ready to leave her post. The only victories the abortion industry gets these days are in the courts. Life is winning in the court of public opinion. Abortions are down. Millennials are increasingly identifying as pro-life. Last year Planned Parenthood shut down five facilities in Indiana. Planned Parenthood is a tired model and women realize they can get better healthcare, and for a better price, elsewhere. We hope other abortion workers will see Cockrum’s departure as their cue to leave this dark industry,” HJumbarger added.
Meanwhile, Mike Fichter, Indiana Right to Life President, told LifeNews: “Our work remains. Our fight to end abortion has never been against one person. We are fighting an entire industry that promote death as a way to better its bottom line. We welcome this news because we are glad whenever someone leaves the abortion industry, for any reason. But we know Planned Parenthood will find someone to replace her”
He concluded: “We will continue to pray for Cockrum and all workers in the abortion industry. May their eyes be opened to the truth of abortion and may they find work that affirms life, rather than destroys it.”