Cecile Richards, Former Planned Parenthood Chief, Won't Rule Out Run for Office

March 25, 2019

By Carlo Versano

Cecile Richards, the high-profile former president of Planned Parenthood, isn't ruling out a run for office.

She told Cheddar in an interview Monday that her mother, Ann Richards, the outspoken former governor of Texas, used to tell women that "the answer is always yes" when it comes to potential career opportunities. But Richards said she's currently focused on supporting the women running for the Democratic nomination for president.

Richards' new memoir, "Make Trouble," highlights her past and upbringing as an agitator and change agent, particularly in the realm of women's reproductive rights. Richards ran Planned Parenthood when President Obama passed the Affordable Care Act, which gave some 60 million women access to free birth control ー something Richards counts among the highlights of her career.

Like other liberal women in the Trump era, Richards said she is deeply concerned about reproductive rights, both in state legislatures ー Mississippi recently passed among the most restrictive abortion laws on the books ー and in the Supreme Court. She said she is "absolutely" concerned Roe v. Wade could be overturned with Justice Kavanaugh now tilting the Court to a conservative majority.

But she said she is also heartened by the grassroots organizing being done by female activists around the country who are working on issues like equal pay, maternity leave and childcare, which Richards called all "major factors for women in the workforce."

Richards is also using her down time to support those causes and spotlight the women working to change the status quo by "standing up, speaking out, and finding the courage to lead," as the subtitle of her book says.

That book gets it name from what Rep. John Lewis, a hero of the civil rights movement, has often referred to as "good trouble."

The best way to make a difference in American politics it to "make a little trouble," Richards said.