Liberal Activists Praise Head of Planned Parenthood as a 'Hero'

Cecile Richards expected to step down as president of abortion provider

Cecile Richards at the Planned Parenthood 100th Anniversary Gala / Getty Images
January 24, 2018

Liberal activists were quick to heap praise on Cecile Richards after news broke Wednesday that she plans to step down as the president of Planned Parenthood after more than a decade in the post.

BuzzFeed News first reported that Richards, who became president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America in 2006, is planning to depart the organization sometime this year. Under Richards' leadership, Planned Parenthood increased the number of abortions that it performs annually by nearly 11 percent.

Democratic Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (N.J.) was the first elected official to praise Richards' tenure and to wish her well in her future endeavors.

".@CecileRichards, you've always shown up for women and never backed down from a challenge," the lawmaker tweeted. "Your fearlessness, compassion, and resilence [sic] will be missed. I know you and Planned Parenthood will continue to be champions for women and for what's right."

Liberal activists on Twitter echoed Watson Coleman's sentiments about Richards leading the nation's largest abortion provider.

Andrea Hagelgans, a senior adviser to New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio (D.), called Richards a "hero" and "mentor" and praised the outgoing Planned Parenthood president, before deleting her tweet.

Soon after news of Richards' expected departure broke, many social media users began to speculate about whether she would try to run for political office in the near future. Some activists implored Richards to enter the gubernatorial race in her home state of Texas. Richards' mother, Ann Richards, served as governor of the Lone Star state for one term before she lost her reelection bid to George W. Bush in 1994.

The filing deadline to run for statewide office in Texas in 2018 closed on Dec. 11, however, so Richards would be too late to launch a gubernatorial run.