by Steven Ertelt
March 13, 2006
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — Cecile Richards, the new president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, says the focus of her tenure at the helm of the nation’s largest abortion business will be persuading Americans that it really focuses on women’s health care first.
She also said the abortion ban in South Dakota is energizing the pro-abortion group’s base of supporters.
Richards, daughter of pro-abortion ex-Texas Gov. Ann Richards, came aboard the abortion business in January. Previously, she was the deputy chief of staff to California Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic leader in the House of Representatives.
As Planned Parenthood comes up on its 90th anniversary, Richards tells the Dallas Morning News her focus is to make the abortion business the "premier women’s health care provider."
"When they turn 100 in 10 years, I want women and families to be able to access safe, affordable community-based health care in every state in this country," she told the newspaper.
"If I can do that I will feel like we – as my mom would say – we carried a bear over a mountain," Richards added.
Richards says pro-life advocates have tried to politicize Planned Parenthood because it performs abortions.
"I’d say folks from the other side have really tried to politicize what are basic health care services. That’s the business we’re in," she claimed.
However, 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. Planned Parenthood performs 180 abortions for every woman it refers to an adoption agency, according to its own figures.
And when it comes to birth control pills, Jim Sedlak of STOPP International says the abortion business is overcharging women to make a substantial profit.
"Our research shows that Planned Parenthood sells a monthly supply of birth control pills for anywhere from $16 to $25, but pays just $1.50 for them," he said.
But the Dallas Morning News reports that Richards seems single-mindedly in support of Planned Parenthood’s public relations ploy of making Americans believe its facilities are closer to normal health care clinics.
"In conversation, Ms. Richards seems careful to stick closely to Planned Parenthood’s mission of women’s health, seldom using the word abortion," the News reported.
The abortion business may be getting more help in its efforts, though, thanks to proposed bans on abortion in several state legislatures.
"We have had phone calls from women and families from all across the country saying, ‘If the South Dakota Legislature can do this, then they can do it in my state. So how can I get involved?" Richards told the Dallas paper.
"I think it’s been an enormous wake-up call," she added.
Richards replaced Gloria Feldt, who resigned in January 2005 after eight years at the helm of the organization.