It’s officially the end of an era — this is Cecile Richards’ last day at Planned Parenthood, and it’s almost overwhelming to see the difference she made in the lives of so many women.
Having strong roots in progressive politics, Richards has led a life dedicated to activism. When she was just 16, she helped her mom build the campaign for Sarah Weddington, the attorney responsible for winning Roe v. Wade, which allowed women safe and legal access to abortions (her mother, Ann Richards, was the 45th Governor of Texas).
As the president of Planned Parenthood, Richards worked tirelessly to secure funding to help women have affordable access to pregnancy care, STI tests, birth control, and health screenings. She chose to step down after 12 years. Here’s what she had to say about her decision:
To honor her time with the organization, women across the country are paying tribute with the hashtag #ThankYouCecile.
Here are just some of the most heartfelt messages.
While Richards hasn’t announced what her next move will be, she told CBS that running for office wasn’t completely off the table. She also recently released a book entitled Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead — My Life Story, which is a must-read for anyone who’s inspired by the impact she’s made.
We also want to take this opportunity to thank Cecile Richards for her service, and for being such a strong force for women everywhere.