After 12 years of challenging work at Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards is stepping down as president of the organization. On Thursday, the healthcare advocate announced that she’ll be resigning from her post later this year.
“Leading Planned Parenthood over the last 12 years has been the honor of my lifetime. Together, we have made real progress in this country, expanding access to services and making reproductive rights a central priority of our nation’s healthcare system,” she said in a statement.
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“I’m deeply proud of the progress we’ve made for the millions of people Planned Parenthood health centers serve across the country each year. Planned Parenthood has been a trusted resource in this country for more than a century, and I will be leaving the organization well-positioned to serve and fight for our patients for a century more.”
Some of that progress includes growing Planned Parenthood’s base of supporters from three million to 11 million, and creating the organization’s largest-ever donor base. The nation is now at a 30-year low for unintended pregnancy, in part thanks to Richards’s hard work.
“Because of Cecile’s leadership and the amazing team she has built, the organization is well-positioned to continue to fulfill our mission of delivering quality, accessible sexual and reproductive healthcare and ensuring reproductive freedom,” Naomi Aberly, Chair of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Board of Directors, said in a statement.
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The 60-year-old has yet to announce what’s next, but she insists that she will remain an activist and champion of healthcare rights. “You can bet I’ll be marching right alongside them, continuing to travel around the country advocating for the basic rights and healthcare that all people deserve. I’ve been an activist my entire life—and that won’t stop anytime soon.”