The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) presented former Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards with a lifetime achievement award Monday.
In her acceptance speech, the abortion leader told the ACLU’s “You Belong Here” conference in D.C. that "leadership today isn’t coming from Washington, D.C. and it’s not coming from Congress.”
“Leadership in America is coming from high school students, from Dreamers, from teachers, teachers striking on behalf of their students all across this country,” she argued, “leadership is coming from everyone who’s fighting for a country where we lift everyone up and no one falls through the cracks and you better believe leadership is coming from millions of women in this country, the most potent political force in America.”
"Leadership in this country comes from high school students, Dreamers, teachers...it comes from women...because together, we are unstoppable" -- @CecileRichards received the Lifetime Achievement Award at #ACLUcon18 pic.twitter.com/ZjFI9UIoVZ— ACLU of Virginia (@ACLUVA) June 12, 2018
Richards also led a round of applause for Planned Parenthood and their work. She stepped down from the helm of the nation’s largest abortion provider earlier this year.
Planned Parenthood performed 321,384 abortions over this past year, according to their latest annual report. After Richards took charge of the organization in 2006, the number of abortions Planned Parenthood performs each year increased by nearly 11 percent.
Richards has also received an award from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who called her “a national champion, a national role model” in March.