Cecile Richards, a Texas native and the longtime president of Planned Parenthood, plans to step down, according to a Wednesday report from Buzzfeed News.
Richards, who has led the women’s health organization since 2006, is a Waco native and the daughter of former Texas Gov. Ann Richards, a Democrat who held the office from 1991 to 1995.
Richards did not immediately return a request for comment Wednesday afternoon. A spokesperson for the organization said that “Cecile plans to discuss 2018 and the next steps for Planned Parenthood’s future at the upcoming board meeting” next week.
The Buzzfeed report cited two anonymous sources, saying Richards has already notified some board members that she is moving on.
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As president, Richards has played a large role in upping the scale of Planned Parenthood’s fundraising efforts and political lobbying. Her work at the helm of the organization has often led her back to her home state, where she has fought legal battles with anti-abortion Republican state leaders who sought to defund the organization's women's health clinics. In 2011, she visited the Texas Capitol to decry “legislative assaults” against Planned Parenthood. She also came to Texas in 2016 to campaign for Hillary Clinton.
In an appearance at The Texas Tribune Festival last fall, she spoke about her work protecting women’s access to health care under the Donald Trump administration.
Richards is the founder of the Texas Freedom Network, a left-leaning nonprofit group, and the former president of America Votes.
Disclosure: Planned Parenthood has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.
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