Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards officially announced Friday that she will be resigning as head of the nation’s largest abortion provider. She received warm accolades from groups on the left and from House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA).
After reports of her resignation circulated earlier this week, Richards announced in a video she’ll be stepping down from her position “this year.”
She praised Planned Parenthood, where she’s been president since 2006, saying “this organization will be here for you no matter where you live, how much money you make, who you love, or where you come from. Planned Parenthood has been part of the fabric of this country for 100 years.”
She called the abortion giant's work “life changing” and “life saving” and said leading it was “the honor of my lifetime.”
Planned Parenthood performed 321,384 abortions over this past year, according to their latest annual report. Since Richard’s took the helm in 2006, the number of abortions Planned Parenthood performs each year increased by nearly 11 percent.
The pro-life advocacy group Susan B. Anthony List tweeted that there have been 3.8 million abortions during Richards' time at Planned Parenthood.
After overseeing the abortion deaths of more than 3.8 MILLION babies, @CecileRichards to step down from her role as CEO of the nation's largest abortion business, Planned Parenthood. #AbortionLegacy#ProLife #DefundPP #PPSellsBabyParts pic.twitter.com/LxKktcWyFq— Susan B Anthony List (@SBAList) January 24, 2018
In a statement following Richards’s announcement, House Minority Leader Pelosi called Richards’s life “a portrait of energy, intellect, and determination.”
“Her brilliant leadership of Planned Parenthood has advanced tremendous progress in the fight to expand access to quality, affordable health care for all and to uphold a woman’s right to control her own private health decisions,” Pelosi added. “Her leadership will be deeply missed, but I am confident that Cecile will continue to be a warrior for all women as she begins the next chapter of her journey.”
Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) said Richards “put inclusive access to reproductive health care at the forefront of the political conversation and has shown it is not only key to women’s well-being, but also to true equality.”
Anthony Romero, Executive Director of the American Civil Liberties Union, called Richards “a transformational change agent – and not just for Planned Parenthood. More importantly, she is a once-in-a-generation leader who shifted the trajectory of women’s rights and reproductive rights in this country.”
Chad Griffin, President of the Human Rights Campaign, said that “Cecile has devoted her life and her career to making this country a more just and fair place for all people, particularly those who have been intentionally marginalized or left behind. Because of her leadership, Planned Parenthood is today one of the nation's largest providers of trans-inclusive health care, and serves a crucial, lifesaving role in administering more than 700,000 HIV tests every year.”
Richards will meet with the organization's board Friday and Saturday to discuss an official end date and her replacement, according to The New York Times.