by Steven Ertelt
January 9, 2006
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Planned Parenthood has named a Democratic activist and the daughter of a former Texas governor as its next president. Cecile Richards, daughter of pro-abortion ex-Texas Gov. Ann Richards, will be the next president of the nation’s largest abortion business.
Richards, who is 48, has been the deputy chief of staff to California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the House of Representatives.
She founded the Texas Freedom Network to counter pro-life and conservative groups in her home state and was, more recently, the president of America Votes, a group that works to register abortion advocates to vote.
Richards will replace Gloria Feldt, who resigned in January 2005 after eight years at the helm of the organization. Karen Pearl has served as interim president since then.
Richards said she was ready to run a group "that stands for the very freedoms embraced by the majority of Americans; the ability to decide when and whether to have children; and the importance of privacy, safety and access to health care.”
However, polls continue to show that more Americans favor limiting most abortions.
According to a November 2005 Gallup poll, 54 percent of Americans oppose either all or most abortions. Just 42 percent generally support legalized abortion.
This also isn’t the first time Richards has worked with a group that exclusively promotes abortion.
She created and directed a pro-abortion project for the Ted Turner Foundation and has served on the board of directors of both the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, it’s political outreach group, and NARAL.
NARAL itself named a new president just over a year ago in former Montana lawmaker Nancy Keenan.
The announcement of Richards to take over the abortion business came on the day the Senate Judiciary Committee opened its hearings on the nomination of Samuel Alito to replace retiring pro-abortion Justice Sandra Day O’Connor. It underscores the group’s desire to keep the landmark Roe v. Wade decision in place.
The number of abortions the business performs has risen in each of the last two years and is now almost 20 percent of the 1.3 million abortions that take place annually in the United States.
According to figures from Planned Parenthood’s annual report, its centers nationwide performed 244,628 abortions in 2003, a 6.1 percent increase from the year before. In 2004, Planned Parenthood performed 255,015, another 4.3 percent increase.
While abortions are on the rise, the number of women Planned Parenthood refers to adoption agencies is decreasing.
In 2003, PPFA referred just 1,774 pregnant women to adoption agencies, which was a 9.6 percent decrease from the previous year. In 2004, that low number declined to 1,414 women, a nearly 20 percent decrease.
As a result, Planned Parenthood performs 180 abortions for every woman it refers to an adoption agency, according to its own figures.
Richards will take over the helm of Planned Parenthood in mid-February.