Raised by ultra liberal parents in an extremely conservative community in Texas, it would seem Richards really didn’t have much of a chance at being anything but a left-wing liberal.
In elementary school she got in trouble for refusing to recite the Lord’s Prayer and told her teacher “We don’t read the Bible in our house.” Later on in seventh grade, she was sent to the principal’s office for wearing an anti-Vietnam War arm band to school. Then, At the age of 16, she and her mother campaigned for Sarah Weddington in her bid for the Texas state legislature. Weddington is better known as the the attorney who won Roe v. Wade.
Both her parents were extremely involved in activism, something Richards would later make a career out of by working as a labor organizer and union supporter alongside her husband. And for a short time, she worked for Nancy Pelosi.
So as you can see, the path to president of Planned Parenthood was paved with many years of service to the liberal agenda.
Just before her chapter on working for Planned Parenthood, there’s a glowing testiment to motherhood, which is puzzling since so much of the work Planned Parenthood does is to prevent women from becoming mothers. She talks about how her first pregnancy with her daughter Lily was unplanned. Her birth control failed. The timing was off and she and her husband weren’t sure they wanted to be parents right then. But ironically, she chose life. In fact, there’s no mention at all of her even thinking about having an abortion. Instead, she says “in the end we came to the same conclusion millions of people do: there was never going to be a perfect time to have kids, but just like everything else, we’d figure it out.”
However, later on in life, even after all the wonderful things she had to say about motherhood, when faced with having a fourth child, Cecile decided to abort. “Like millions of other women, I was using birth control, but no method is foolproof. We were doing the best job we could raising our kids, and I couldn’t imagine we could do justice to a fourth. Having another child just was not an option for us. I already felt like I wasn’t doing enough for Lily, Hannah and Daniel as it was. Being able to terminate a pregnancy early – it had hardly even begun – was a relief.”
As you can imagine, the rest of the book is filled with political attacks and left leaning propaganda. Richards takes shots at Sarah and Bristol Palin, John McCain (during his bid for presidency, Planned Parenthood handed out condoms on college campuses that had “protect yourself from John McCain” printed on them), Paul Ryan and of course, President Trump.
She talks about her secret meeting with Jared and Ivanka Trump, saying it felt like they were trying to bribe her and that abortion is essential to women’s health care. “Our patients are not bargaining chips,” she says, although it’s a little hard to believe that without abortion services, Planned Parenthood would lose millions in revenue. So likely, the REAL reason comes down to profits, not people like Richards would have you believe.
There’s also a lot of love for Hillary Clinton (both Cecile and her daughter Lily campaigned hard for her during the 2016 election) and a lot of talk of how sexism abounds in politics, especially Congress, and most notably the committee that questioned her about Planned Parenthood’s alleged sales of baby parts.
Richards memoir is quite interesting to read, even for someone as pro-life as myself. I always find it helpful to learn a little bit about the “opposition” so I can try to understand where they are coming from and form better arguments for my own side of the issue at hand. It’s clear that her Godless upbringing greatly shaped the person she became and there are many mentions throughout the book about how she perceived the religious right to be dangerous to progressivism.
It’s also a testament to the kind of legacy a person can leave. Cecile’s parents instilled a liberal set of values in her and she is now passing those same values on to her own children, who also work to expand socially liberal policies.
Then there’s Cecile’s legacy that’s been left on America. There’s no mention of her future plans, but Richards has been successful at inspiring the next generation of women who are busy knitting pink hats, marching on Washington and changing their Facebook photos to say “I stand with Planned Parenthood.”
What should worry us is that, in her twelve years as president of Planned Parenthood, 3.8 million babies were aborted. That’s roughly half the number of Jews who were killed during the Holocaust. And a growing number of Americans are okay with that.
It’s time to take Cecile’s own advice and “make trouble” for the pro-abortion crowd – millions of unborn lives depend on it.