Planned Parenthood Prez Wants Abortion in Health Care Plan, Common Ground

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Mar 19, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Planned Parenthood Prez Wants Abortion in Health Care Plan, Common Ground

by Steven Ertelt Editor
March 19
, 2009

Washington, DC ( — The president of Planned Parenthood says the nation’s largest abortion business will pursue making sure abortion coverage is in President Barack Obama’s health care plan. Cecile Richards also wants to pursue common ground with pro-life advocates and resists being labeled pro-abortion.

Richards sat down for an interview with CBN News national correspondent David Brody.

Asked whether she would be upset if President Obama foregoes including abortion coverage in his health care plan if he worries the plan will be defeated as a result, Richards said she wouldn’t back down from saying she wanted abortion included.

“This is a big complex issue and I think there’s going to be all kinds of work done over the next several months," she said.

"We are very focused on making sure that family planning services are covered in any kind of healthcare reform because for women it’s basic fundamental healthcare," she added.

Brody asked his question again because Richards failed to talk about abortion — instead mentioning family planning, which is sometimes used as a euphemism for abortion.

"Look, we’ll see, I think we’re in the early stages of these conversations and we would like women’s full reproductive healthcare covered in any kind of healthcare reform," Richards said.

Meanwhile, the Planned Parenthood president told CBN she truly wants to find common ground with pro-life advocates and resisted using labels like "pro-abortion" or "anti-choice," even though Planned Parenthood has referred to pro-life advocates as "anti-choice" or "anti-woman" in the past.

“It doesn’t allow us to have a conversation because people sort of then end up in a camp," she said of the labels. “I think it actually diminishes the importance of really being honest and open and having a dialogue with folks you may disagree with by putting folks in one camp or the other and look, I think we all have some work to do in that regard.”

Richards expressed a willingness to sit down with "the other side" to try and reach common sense solutions, which are likely very difficult from the ones pro-life groups would support.

“I do think it’s time for a fresh conversation and I think both sides have to be willing to have an open dialogue and see where it takes us. Look, we’ve got to be able to better than we have," she told Brody. "I think finding common ground isn’t necessarily sort of like put aide your ideals. I think it’s a process."

Asked if she trusted pro-life groups to be an "honest broker" in a conversation about common ground, Richards wouldn’t budge.

"Look, I think it’s all about doing work together and seeing where it leads," she said.

Richards says she thinks President Barack Obama, despite his lengthy pro-abortion record, has "opened a window" for dialogue between groups on both sides of the abortion divide.

"I think that’s the opportunity, I think that’s the window that’s been opened in the last few months and shame on us if we all don’t take advantage of it," she said.

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