New York Governor Andrew Cuomo awarded departing Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards the Governor's Medal for Public Service Tuesday during a Planned Parenthood rally at the state capitol.
Cuomo concluded his speech by calling the head of the nation’s largest abortion provider “an inspiration to all of us and to a generation across the nation.”
“She has been a national champion, a national role model,” he added.
It was a privilege today to present @CecileRichards the Governor’s Medal of Public Service, in recognition of her extraordinary leadership and fearless advocacy.— Andrew Cuomo (@NYGovCuomo) March 14, 2018
Thank you for your service, Cecile. pic.twitter.com/9dbSsx3gIq
Planned Parenthood performed 321,384 abortions over this past year, according to their latest annual report. Since Richards took the helm in 2006, the number of abortions Planned Parenthood performs each year increased by nearly 11 percent. Richards is stepping down from her post in May.
Richards accepted the award saying, “I’m so proud he’s my governor,” but then asking the crowd to “give it up for Mario, oh my God for Andrew Cuomo,” appearing to confuse Cuomo with his late father who was governor of New York from 1983 to 1994.
She had high praise for the state’s policies, saying in her speech, "New York state should be the north star for the country, of where we have to be."
According to the latest available data from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), New York has the highest abortion rate of any state, 36.3 abortions for every 1,000 women between 15-44, and the highest abortion ratio – 598 for every 1,000 live births. New York City reported 69,840 abortions and 116,777 registered births, which makes the city’s abortion rate 60 percent of its birth rate.
Cuomo even wants to add Roe v. Wade to the state constitution which was something he emphasized in his speech.
“Roe v. Wade has to be added to the Constitution of the state of New York because they will take us back before 1973,” he said, “they will take us back and we have to protect our position and it has to be written into our constitution.”