Cecile Richards departs from Planned Parenthood with a bloody resume, a diminished business model, and the primary skills of promoting abortion while skillfully maneuvering politicians to advance her cause. As she launches her book tour for “Make Trouble,” her new book, she leaves a troubled organization just as the Department of Justice undertakes a long overdue investigation of Planned Parenthood’s handling of the sale and distribution of pre-born baby body parts.
Her transformation of Planned Parenthood morphed the abortion mega vendor from one hawking “choice” to one committed to coercion, advocating for the force of law against those who do not share her cavalier attitude toward life in the womb. While a pleasant face in the media, the policies Richards advocated stripped away the veneer of civil engagement, going instead for political power and predatory practices keeping everyone—from nuns to private business people—in business with her deadly industry.
A Legacy of Profiteering Off Death
According to Planned Parenthood’s own annual reports, under Richards 3.5 million children died unspeakably cruel deaths in barbaric acts of abortion. In fact, during her tenure, she increased Planned Parenthood’s abortion business by more than 10 percent.
Some of these children’s bodies were then dissected for saleable parts. Planned Parenthood representatives haggled over prices for livers and brains. Planned Parenthood’s abortions skyrocketed under Richards as health services and the organization’s number of total clients plummeted year after year.
Richards was a grassroots organizer before taking charge of Planned Parenthood. In public appearances, Richards unflinchingly trots out talking points about serving low-income communities and providing affordable health care. But Richards’ actions tell a very different story, a story of radical abortion zeal driven by an insatiable desire to profit, no matter what, especially from taxpayer support.
Richards reaped the rewards of more than half-a-billion dollars annually in taxpayer largess, made possible in part by cozy relationships with those holding Uncle Sam’s purse strings. To this end, Planned Parenthood’s political arm—also run by Richards—dumped $30 million into Hillary Clinton’s woeful presidential bid.
In return, the once relatively moderate Clinton touted Planned Parenthood’s fringe talking points on the campaign trail, defending abortion until the moment of birth, poo-pooing any suggestion of abortion restrictions, and sitting shoulder to shoulder with Richards. On Election Day, the most-Googled query about Clinton’s positions was related to her abortion stance. Given Richards’ highly publicized position as a Democrat Party darling during the 2016 election cycle, Richards may have a lot more to do with voters rejecting Clinton than the mainstream media have acknowledged.
Now aligned with Richards’ radical stance, Democrats are caught in a PR nightmare with their grotesque beliefs on full and intractable display. These out-of-touch views came to a head during the recent vote on the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, a piece of legislation the vast majority of Americans support but almost every single Democrat in the U.S. Senate voted against. Planned Parenthood’s entanglement with the Democratic Party has done little to bolster the faction’s popularity ahead of the 2018 election cycle.
Abortion Quotas, Not Impartial Review of Clients’ Interest
During her tenure at Planned Parenthood, Richards’ salary reached more than $590,000. Not surprisingly, during that same time, Richards mandated that all affiliates must commit abortions—Planned Parenthood’s big-ticket offering—and the abortion behemoth was even caught enforcing abortion quotas on affiliates. Staff have reported being rewarded with pizza parties and personal time off for meeting these quotas. Yet clinics closed and patients choose other care.
Before Richards, Planned Parenthood saw about 3 million clients a year. Today, the abortion giant does many more abortions than ever, but sees only 2.4 million clients total. Under Richards, its own client base has rejected Planned Parenthood.
It’s interesting to note the declining popularity of Planned Parenthood among the Pro-Life Generation, who are actually more pro-life than their parents’ generation. For example, in its recent annual report, Planned Parenthood bragged about starting 50 new campus groups, while the organization I lead, Students for Life of America, started nearly 120 last year, and now has more than 1,200 student groups on campuses in all 50 states.
Planned Parenthood reported training 750 young activists from 11 cities, while we at SFLA trained nearly 11,000 students from across the country. In fact, in our national training conference in Washington DC last month, we trained almost three times as many students in a day as Planned Parenthood trained in a year.
But for a picture worth a thousand words, consider the youth and vibrant culture on full display at the March for Life compared to the tired Women’s March. While the abortion industry’s vacant rhetoric was on full display, in the Women’s March’s premier event in Las Vegas attendees mourned the lack of millennial faces, noting the crowd was made up of “women of a certain age.”
Wherever she goes next, Richards takes with her a legacy of orchestrating extreme advocacy for abortion at a time in which polling indicates more than 3 out of 4 Americans want to limit abortion to the first trimester. Still, she prepares to bring her brand of abortion politics to the campaign trail, having announced her intentions to be politically visible leading up to the midterm elections.
When you consider the severe losses the Democratic Party experienced during the time in which it fully embraced a Richards-like agenda—losing more than 1,030 elected seats since 2008—the question is, will she bring political poison to the grassroots given her out-of-the-mainstream abortion positions? Officeholders and organizations should keep that in mind before associating with a woman whose draconian worldview is at odds with nearly the entire American population.