Cecile Richards, who has served as president of Planned Parenthood since 2006, will soon step down from her position, two sources told BuzzFeed News on Wednesday.
No official timetable has been reported, but a statement provided to BuzzFeed said that Richards “plans to discuss 2018 and the next steps for Planned Parenthood’s future” at next week’s board meeting.
During Richards’ tenure as president, Planned Parenthood increased the number of abortions performed each year by more than 10 percent. In 2006, Planned Parenthood performed 289,750 abortions. In the 2016-2017 report, that number had grown to 321,384.
On average, Planned Parenthood carried out 320,000 abortions each year during Richards’ tenure.
Despite increasing the number of abortions during her time as president, the overall number of patients treated by Planned Parenthood fell. In 2006, Planned Parenthood treated 3.1 million people. In 2016, that number had dropped to 2.4 million, yet the amount of federal funding received by Planned Parenthood had increased by over $200 million.
A total of 32 clinics closed during the last year alone.
During Richards’ time as president, a series of videos produced by the Center for Medical Progress alleged that Planned Parenthood was involved in the sale of aborted fetal parts for profit.
The Department of Justice is currently investigating Planned Parenthood due to these videos. Congress earlier launched several investigations.
It is not immediately clear what Richards plans on doing next, although her memoir, titled “Make Trouble,” will be released in April.
News of Richards’ departure was well-received from former Planned Parenthood clinic worker Abby Johnson. Johnson, who now leads the pro-life group “And Then There Were None,” comprised of former abortion clinic employees, said in a statement that she would enjoy hearing from Richards now that she’s left the industry.
"As an organization that helps abortion workers leave their jobs, we would love to hear from Cecile as she exits the industry and have her hear from former workers of her organization - and how leaving was the best choice they made,” said Johnson.
“As a powerful woman, she has the capability to stand up for women and their families without relying on the lie that abortion is good for them and empowers them, when in reality it does the opposite.”
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