Washington, D.C. - After praising Obamacare for empowering women’s health care, “Nashville” actress Connie Britton introduced Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards as a "true leader" and activist at the first-ever State of Women summit in Washington, D.C.'s Walter E. Washington Convention Center.
At least three tables were filled with Planned Parenthood representatives. When Richards came on stage, one of them raised her arms in the air like she was praising Jesus.
It’s an especially ideal time to talk about women’s issues, Richards said in her opening remarks, because Planned Parenthood turns 100 years old this year. She thanked President Obama for his health care legislation, making it easier for women to get health insurance and for mandating that insurers pay for employers’ birth control.
Richards said abortion is “one of the safest medical procedures in the U.S.,” which was welcomed with applause.
Yet, she lamented that too many women lack access to abortion services and is determined to make sure women in Louisiana have just as much access to abortion as women who live in New York.
This last initiative has already begun, with Planned Parenthood opening a clinic in New Orleans, Louisiana, she revealed.
As for the attacks on her organization (presumably she was talking about pro-life groups and legislators), Richards says, “We have taken the attacks on Planned Parenthood and turned them into an organizing opportunity.”
Standing to Richards’ left was a young Planned Parenthood activist named Grecia Magdaleno who began by talking about her harmful abstinence-only education. Her high school was Christian and conservative - and therefore intolerant, she suggested.
One pregnant student was expelled by school administrators, Magdaleno recalled. Because of the conservative culture, she herself felt too afraid to come out as gay and therefore remained in abusive relationships.
Then, she said she found help.
“I found Planned Parenthood – they valued my identity,” she said. “They truly care no matter what.”
Magdaleno's history is a raw one, but if only her story didn't end with Planned Parenthood as the savior. It seemed painfully obvious that Richards was using this young woman's painful story to promote abortion, nodding encouragingly as Magdaleno spoke.
Abstinence education, regardless of how Planned Parenthood tries to demonize it, is an ideal way of informing students about sex without promoting promiscuity. To read more about the program and its successful results in terms of decreasing dangerous sexual activity and unplanned pregnancies, read my feature here.