Planned Parenthood Chief Channels Ann Richards at DNC

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards took on a cause célèbre of this week’s Democratic National Convention — women’s reproductive health — in her Wednesday night speech.

“Back in Texas, we say that you dance with them that brung you,” she said. “Well President Obama brought women to this dance.”

Teary-eyed, to roaring applause, she channeled her mother, former Texas Gov. Ann Richards, reminding the delegates of the now-deceased icon’s own speech before the DNC 24 years ago.

“She reminded us how far we’ve come, and that there was a time when folks had to drink from separate water fountains, when kids were punished for speaking Spanish in the school, when her grandmother couldn’t even vote,” she said. “My mom spent her entire life working to make things more fair.”

Richards said that just a few years before her mother died, the former governor became friends with “a young senator named Barack Obama.” “She saw in him the promise of the future, and the promise of America,” Richards said.

Richards said women have “come too far” to give up the reins to a Republican Party that “voted to end cancer screenings and well-woman visits for 5 million women, end funding for birth control at Planned Parenthood and … tried to redefine rape.”

“Mom wouldn’t stand for it,” Richards said, “and neither will we.” 

Texas Tribune donors or members may be quoted or mentioned in our stories, or may be the subject of them. For a complete list of contributors, click here.