Who Is Cecile Richards, And Why Do Republicans Hate Her?

CEO Cecile Richards In Planned Parenthood News

Who is Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation Of America (PPFA), anyway? Yesterday, I watched as the misogynistic-led, anti-choice House Oversight Committee grilled her on phony videos about fetal tissue for nearly five grueling hours. Her interrogators blew up the Planned Parenthood news, because they were intent upon yanking all federal funding for Planned Parenthood. They failed.

Planned Parenhood News: Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chair

When one Republican asked if she expected to be treated differently than a man, Richards answered:

“My mama didn’t raise me that way.”

After watching her hit each stink bomb right back to the men bombarding her, I had to know more about her. This amazing woman’s late mother was firebrand Texas governor, Ann Richards (D-TX). Her father was labor and civil rights attorney, David Richards.

Cecile Richards inherited more than a sense of justice from her parents. She is an example of the best women have against what is truly a war against women. She is an extremely deft warrior. At the age of 16, she helped her mother campaign for Roe v. Wade lawyer, Sarah Weddington, who was running for the Texas state legislature.

When she was still in college, Richards “organized against apartheid in South Africa.’ Since then, she has worked “as a labor organizer and served as deputy chief of staff to then House Majority Leader, Nancy Pelosi.” Her other credentials stand high against the negative Planned Parent news.

During a Barnard University commencement speech, Richards encouraged the graduates to “pursue a life as activists, troublemakers and agitators.” She pulls women up the ladder who stand behind her. That is a trait of a fine leader.

One member of the House Oversight Committee, Rep. Carol Maloney (D-NI), was appalled at how the men treated Richards:

“In my entire time I’ve been in Congress, I’ve never seen a witness beaten up and questioned about their salary, [especially a woman] […] I find it totally inappropriate and discriminatory.”

During a June address to the progressive group Take Back America, Richards said:

“We have the potential to swing the vote in 2006, 2008 and 2010, and that’s a lot of power. The question is: What are we going to do with it? And the answer is, We’re going to use it.

“We’re going to marry our current reality as the largest reproductive healthcare provider in this country with our opportunity to be the largest kick-ass advocacy organization in the country…. We’re taking on the opponents of choice in the states and the districts where they live. Planned Parenthood is going to become more political so that healthcare can become less politicized.” [Cue thunderous applause.]

The House Oversight Committee fed 24-hour Planned Parenthood news by attacking Richards this week on her income at Planned Parenthood. These same Republicans do not beat up male executives about their salaries. Then I understood part of the reason these nasty boys are so angry. Not only is Richards strong and intelligent, she makes more ($520,000) than her inquisitors ($174,000) – and they can’t stand it!

Featured image by House GOP, via Flickr, available under a Creative CommonsAttribution-Noncommercial license.

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About Gloria Christie

Gloria Christie founded Gloria Christie Reports, a common sense column about liberal politics. She wrote for Addictinginfo.org, the Kansas City Star, Where High Technology Meets Politics for London’s IDG-Connect Blog and The Best Times. Her total readership is over 5 million. Christie has an MS in radio-TV-film and an MPA in business/government relations. She was a systemic problems consulting expert for Fortune 100/500 businesses here and off-shore. Christie invented and implemented the first computerized patient chart. She also worked on Howard Dean’s, John Kerry’s, and Barak Obama’s presidential campaigns. She is particularly interested in liberal politics, high-tech, complex systems, and change. Like her Facebook page, visit her website, and follow her onTwitter. Click here to buy Gloria Christie a vodka martini.


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