Report: Cecile Richards is stepping down as Planned Parenthood president

NEW YORK― Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards is planning to leave the organization after heading it for more than a decade, according to a report by BuzzFeed News.

Reached for comment, a Planned Parenthood spokesman said Richards “plans to discuss 2018 and the next steps for Planned Parenthood’s future at the upcoming board meeting” late next week.

Richards, the 60-year-old daughter of the late Texas Gov. Ann Richards (D), has been the iconic face of Planned Parenthood since 2006, during which time she transformed the family planning provider into a massively influential political force for abortion rights.

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Cecile Richards through the years
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Cecile Richards through the years
10/04/95: CECILE RICHARDS,daughter of former Texas Gov Anne Richards, has formed a coalition of Texas activist groups called 'The Texas Freedom Alliance', gathered to counter the influence of the Religious Right. CECILE RICHARDS, in her office (Photo by Margaret Thomas/The Washington Post/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 24: Cecile Richards President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America speaks at the 36th Anniversary Gala of The Feminist Press at the City University of New York at Tavern On The Green on October 24, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Amy Sussman/ Getty Images)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 30: Cecile Richards and daughter Hannah attend Glamour Magazine's 'Glamour Women Of The Year Awards 2006' at Carnegie Hall, October 30, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
Cecile Richards during Choice Art 2006 in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Carley Margolis/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK CITY, NY - FEBRUARY 16: (L-R) Lily Adams, Cecile Richards and Jamie Niven attend 'Choice Art' Planned Parenthood Auction for Choice 2006 at Sotheby's on February 16, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Jimi Celeste/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
ST-CECILE Washington, DC 3/23/06 Cecile Richards, pink blazer, daughter of former Texas governor Ann Richards, is the new President of Planned Parenthood and has been visiting groups throughout the country that help with family planning and sexual education. This included VOX, or Voices for Choice, which has a very active chapter at George Washington University. (Photo by Michael Robinson-Chavez/The Washington Post/Getty Images)
Cecile Richards, President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, addresses the Democratic National Convention in Denver, Colorado, Tuesday, August 26, 2008. (Photo by Brian Baer/Sacramento Bee/MCT via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 17: Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, speaks at the Planned Parenthood Action Fund Public Affairs Retreat and Roundtable event at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Washington on Tuesday, July 17, 2007. Elizabeth Edwards, wife of 2008 presidential candidate John Edwards, D-N.C., presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., spoke at the event. (Photo By Bill Clark/Roll Call/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 02: (L to R) President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America and Planned Parenthood Action Fund Cecile Richards, actress Jane Fonda and actress Kathleen Turner attend Planned Parenthood Action Fund and Planned Parenthood Advocates of New York City for the One Million Strong Cocktail Party, a fundraiser to help make this a pro-choice election year. The event was held at The Prince George Ballroom on June 2, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Joe Corrigan/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 27: President of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA) Cecile Richards attends the women's health forum 'Planned Parenthood Action Fund's Playing Politics With Women's Health: The 2012 Election And Why It Matters' at W Times Square on January 27, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/FilmMagic)
- MAY 31: (L-R) Tony Ingrao, Cecile Richards and Randy Kemper attend Interior Designers Tony Ingrao and Randy Kemper Host Planned Parenthood Hudson Peconic East End Benefit at East Hampton on May 31, 2008. (Photo by Adriel Reboh/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 27: Maggie Gyllenhaal (R) and Cecile Richards attend the women's health forum 'Planned Parenthood Action Fund's Playing Politics With Women's Health: The 2012 Election And Why It Matters' at W Times Square on January 27, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/FilmMagic)
(L-R) Television personality Ramona Singer, event honoree Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood and Alex McCord (R) attend 50 & Fabulous: Celebrating 50 Years of Women's Advances Since The Pill at The Pierre Hotel on October 18, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 26: Actress Amy Poehler (2nd R) and Cecile Richards President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America Cecile Richards (3rd R) attend the TIME 100 Gala, TIME'S 100 Most Influential People In The World at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 26, 2011 in New York City. (Photo by Larry Busacca/Getty Images for Time Warner)
Cecile Richards attends the Stand Up for Women's Health Rally at Capitol Hill on April 7, 2011 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 07: (L-R) Anne Hathaway, Cecile Richards, Lily Adams and Gloria Steinem attend the after party for the opening night of 'Ann' at The Plaza Hotel on March 7, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Bruce Glikas/FilmMagic)
CHARLOTTE, NC - SEPTEMBER 5: President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America Cecile Richards waves to the crowd during the 2012 Democratic National Convention at the Time Warner Center on September 5, 2012 in Charlotte, North Carolina. (Photo by Nikki Kahn/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
PORTLAND, OR - MARCH 22: (L-R) Sarah Ramos, Cecile Richards, Sandra Fluke and KaDee Strickland attend the Planned Parenthood National Gala Awards VIP Reception at The Hilton Portland on March 22, 2012 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Jackie Butler/WireImage)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 27: Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards (L) and U.S. House Minority Leader Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) attend the Planned Parenthood Federation Of America's 2014 Gala Awards Dinner at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel on March 27, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 27: Planned Parenthood Federation of America President Cecile Richards attends the Planned Parenthood Federation Of America's 2014 Gala Awards Dinner at the Marriott Wardman Park Hotel on March 27, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Paul Morigi/Getty Images)
Cecile Richards and Lily Adams attend the 'All About Ann: Governor Richards of the Lone Star State' Screening at the SVA Theater in New York City. � LAN (Photo by Lars Niki/Corbis via Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 25: Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America speaks outside the Supreme Court of the United States on a day that the court hears arguments on aspects of the Affordable Care Act involving a mandate for contraception on Tuesday March 25, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Matt McClain/ The Washington Post via Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JULY 11: Sen. Al Franken, D-Minn., talks with Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, during a rally by the group in Upper Senate Park to oppose some states' legislation that they claim limits safe and legal abortion. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 29: Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, prepares for a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing in Rayburn Building on whether PPFA should be federally funded, September 29, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 19: Dr. Willie Parker (L) and President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Cecile Richards attend the 2015 Planned Parenthood Gala at The Washington Hilton on March 19, 2015 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Teresa Kroeger/WireImage)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 29: Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America Inc. is sworn in during a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill, September 29, 2015 in Washington, DC. The committee is hearing testimony on the use of taxpayer funding by Planned Parenthood and its affiliates. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 09: Cecile Richards and Cameron Esposito arrive at the 2016 Planned Parenthood Annual Gala at Washington Hilton on June 9, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 10: Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton holds hands with Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Action Fund, during an event June 10, 2016 in Washington, DC. Hillary Clinton addressed Planned Parenthood members on 'what's at stake for reproductive health care and women's rights in the upcoming presidential election.' (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 09: (L-R) Comedian Cameron Esposito, Kesha and Cecile Richards President and CEO of Planned Parenthood in the green room at the 2016 Planned Parenthood Annual Gala Power and Purpose 100 Years Strong during the Planned Parenthood National Conference at Washington Hilton on June 9, 2016 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jennifer Graylock/WireImage)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 1: From left, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, and Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., conduct a news conference during a 'Super Tuesday' watch party for Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at Paschal's Restaurant in Atlanta, Ga., March 1, 2016. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 25: Maneesh Goyal and Cecile Richards attend the 2017 TIME 100 Gala at Jazz at Lincoln Center on April 25, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Sean Zanni/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - APRIL 05: Tina Brown (L) and President of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America Cecile Richards attend the 8th Annual Women In The World Summit at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on April 5, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Monica Schipper/WireImage)
WASHINGTON, DC - MARCH 29: Planned Parenthood Action Fund President Cecile Richards speaks during a rally opposing attempts to defund Planned Parenthood March 29, 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. U.S. Two anti-abortion activists have recently been charged with felonies after making secret video recordings at a Planned Parenthood office in California. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 13: Moira Forbes, Kerry Washington, Cecile Richards, and Janet Mock attend the 2017 Forbes Women's Summit at Spring Studios on June 13, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Taylor Hill/FilmMagic)
NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 24: President of Planned Parenthood Cecile Richards (L) and Andy Cohen attend Andy Cohen and Cecile Richards on Activism, Pop Culture, and Why Authenticity Is The Only Way Forward during the Fast Company Innovation Festival at 92nd Street Y on October 24, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Fast Company)
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 05: Winners of the Board of Directors' Tribute Gloria Steinem, President of Planned Parenthood, Cecile Richards and Janelle Mon� pose on the Winners Walk during the 2017 CFDA Fashion Awards at Hammerstein Ballroom on June 5, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 08: Alencia Johnson (L) and Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards (R) attend the 'Together We Rise' book launch celebrated by the Women's March Organizers and Conde Nast at The Wing Soho on January 8, 2018 in New York City. (Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for Conde Nast)
KINGS THEATER, BROOKLYN, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - 2017/11/13: Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards. For the first time ever, Glamour Magazine's Women of the Year Awards were held in Brooklyn's Kings Theater honoring women of accomplishment including Representative Maxine Waters, Washington DC Women's March organizers, activist Muzoon Almellehan among others. (Photo by Andy Katz/Pacific Press/LightRocket via Getty Images)
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Each time Republicans in Congress have tried to defund the organization since taking over the House of Representatives in 2011, Planned Parenthood has bounced back stronger, gaining tens of thousands of new members and huge fundraising spikes. The group now has 11 million supporters ―  with 1.5 million having joined in the past year. 

Planned Parenthood flexed its political muscle last year after Donald Trump became president. Two of the main campaign promises made by Trump and Republican leaders in Congress were to defund Planned Parenthood and to repeal the Affordable Care Act. But despite having control of the House, Senate and White House, Republicans failed at both missions.

Richards attributes that failure to the groundswell of support for Planned Parenthood and its mission. 

“If you had told me a year ago that we could block the defunding of Planned Parenthood and the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, the two signature things Republicans promised ... no one would have believed it,” she told HuffPost last week. “It happened because you couldn’t go to a single town hall meeting without facing angry women in pink hats and T-shirts.” 

 

  • This article originally appeared on HuffPost.
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