Richards, the long-lasting face of Planned Parenthood for over a decade, will formally step down from helm of the group in May, simply after the April launch of her new memoir, Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead — My Life Story. The search committee for Richards’ alternative shall be led by Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times columnist and novelist Anna Quindlen, whose mom died of ovarian most cancers on the age of 40.
“Anna’s unique voice on behalf of women has motivated us for decades,” stated Naomi Aberly, chair of the board at Planned Parenthood. “The board is grateful for her willingness to help us find our future leader.”
The search committee, a gaggle of 9 women and one man of numerous backgrounds, consists of Dr. Luz Towns-Miranda, activist and mom of “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda; Dominican-American tv journalist Carmen Rita Wong; Democratic fundraiser Aimee Boone Cunningham; and numerous leaders and board members at Planned Parenthood. The board has particularly instructed the committee to hunt candidates who mirror Planned Parenthood’s sufferers, most of whom are women and roughly 40 % of whom are individuals of shade.
Planned Parenthood is a nonprofit reproductive health supplier that gives reasonably priced contraceptives, most cancers screenings, STI remedies and abortion care to 2.four million sufferers a yr, most of whom are low-income. The political arm of the group, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, advocates for reproductive rights and helps elect candidates who help them. Richards’ alternative have to be an efficient and charismatic political organizer in addition to the general public face of the health care supplier.
Loretta Ross, a black reproductive rights activist, made a robust case for a lady of colour to switch Richards in her HuffPost column on the subject:
Under a white president, Planned Parenthood might nonetheless give attention to the wants of low-income women. But to place a lady of colour within the prime job ― one with a elementary understanding of how class works in a racialized health care system ― would ship a robust sign to present and potential shoppers of shade that the group may be trusted and that it believes in empowering women who share their experiences.
Imani Gandy, senior authorized analyst for Rewire, particularly referred to as for a black lady to steer the nation’s largest household planning supplier, as a result of it will defang Republicans’ cost that Planned Parenthood is racist for having clinics in predominantly black neighborhoods.
“I want a Black woman—specifically a Black feminist—to be appointed,” she wrote in Rewire. “I’m hoping that the cognitive dissonance of blaming an organization run by a Black woman of supporting Black genocide might cause anti-choicers’ brains to scramble.”
Indeed, women of colour have been critical in the fight for reproductive rights and women’s equality for a lot of many years, however their voices are sometimes omitted. Richards identified that through the Women’s March final month, it was black women who led Democrat Doug Jones to victory within the deep-red state of Alabama.
“From Virginia to Alabama and to last week in Wisconsin, women have beaten the odds to elect our own to office. … Women of color, transgender women, rural and urban women,” Richards stated.
“White women, listen up. We’ve got to do better. … It is not up to women of color to save this country from itself. That’s on all of us. That’s on all of us.”
Planned Parenthood, beneath Richards’ management, has been more and more acutely aware of intersectional feminism and the necessity to elevate the voices and tales of women of colour. The group stated it is going to strongly contemplate women of colour as candidates to be its subsequent chief.
In the meantime, Dawn Laguens, government vice chairman of Planned Parenthood, will take over as the general public face of the group as soon as Richards leaves in May. She may also climate Planned Parenthood’s political fights as President Donald Trump and Republicans in Congress stay decided to tug federal funding from the household planning supplier.
Joe Solmonese, former president of the Human Rights Campaign and former CEO of EMILY’s List, will function transition chair to briefly oversee day-to-day operations of Planned Parenthood. And Debra Alligood White, the group’s common counsel, will associate with the board and search committee to run an “inclusive and transparent process” of discovering Planned Parenthood’s new chief.
Richards, in the meantime, can be selling her guide and utilizing her fundraising energy to assist elect Democratic feminine candidates within the 2018 midterms. A document variety of women are operating this yr, impressed and motivated by an opposition to Trump’s presidency.
“As a lifetime organizer, I’ve never been more excited, despite this Congress and this presidency,” Richards informed The New York Times in late January. “There’s this kind of organic activism by women.”
Richards is leaving Planned Parenthood in fine condition ― since she took the helm in 2006, the group’s supporters have grown from 2.5 million to 11 million. Republican congressmen can’t appear to make it by means of a city corridor assembly with no lady in a pink shirt pressuring them to go away Planned Parenthood funding alone. And thus far, members of the GOP-controlled House and Senate have been unable to defund the supplier, regardless of lots of their marketing campaign guarantees to dam Medicaid sufferers from accessing its providers.
“We are determined to protect women’s health through the upcoming legislative sessions and in elections across the country,” stated Aberly. “We are confident that our leadership at the national office and at Planned Parenthood affiliates will maintain the organization’s momentum as we search for a new president to replace the outstanding and dynamic leadership of Cecile Richards.”
This story has been up to date to offer a newer statistic for what number of sufferers Planned Parenthood serves per yr.