This week, news broke that Cecile Richards will be stepping down as President of Planned Parenthood.
Most of the articles on the topic that I’ve read have praised Richards for her work promoting the abortion giant—and for good reason. The most recent Planned Parenthood annual report shows that profits continue to soar, despite the fact that they continue to close abortion facilities and offer fewer actual health services. This is partially due to the organization’s vise grip on our tax dollars (to the tune of more than $500 million a year). This influx of funding enables the organization to continue to fund the political machine that is currently protecting its abortion gold mine.
But if you ask me, there are two words that can easily sum up Cecile Richards tenure as President of Planned Parenthood: damage control. In the more than 10 years that Richards has been president, the abortion giant has seen scandal after scandal. Below are just five of the major scandals that have surfaced during Richards’ tenure as President of Planned Parenthood.
1. Got caught on video negotiating prices for baby body parts
It doesn’t get more scandalous—or sickening—then being caught on video negotiating prices for baby body parts. A series of authenticated undercover videos by The Center for Medical Progress shows Planned Parenthood officials haggling over the price of baby parts, advertising the freshness of the baby parts they collect and sell, and discussing altering abortion methods to obtain intact body parts.
The videos received national attention (although Planned Parenthood asked the media to pretend not to notice), and calls to investigate the abortion giant for breaking the law were loud and clear. And if recent reports are any indication—the FBI finally got the memo. In fact, two tissue procurement companies that bought baby parts from Planned Parenthood recently paid millions in damages and are now shut down.
2. Was involved in multiple lawsuits exposing misuse of taxpayer funds
In 2013, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast, the Texas and Louisiana based affiliate of the world’s largest abortion business, paid $4.3 million to settle a fraud investigation. Other lawsuits include one by former manager and ADF client Sue Thayer alleging nearly $28 million in “repeated false, fraudulent, and/or ineligible claims for reimbursements to Medicaid.”
The more than $500 million in taxpayer funding that Planned Parenthood receives each year, as well as additional state funding, has been a hot topic of conversation since the release of the undercover videos. Since then, multiple states, including Louisiana, Alabama, Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Texas, to name a few, moved to exclude Planned Parenthood from the states’ Medicaid programs. The Trump Administration has openly discussed defunding Planned Parenthood, but has yet to take action. President Trump did however, restore a ban on international abortion funding.
3. Failed to report the sexual abuse of young girls brought to its clinics
Planned Parenthood has an extensive history of ignoring child sexual abuse and enabling their predators. In 2015, Alliance Defending Freedom released a report presenting a pattern of documented Planned Parenthood incidents involving sexually abused minors in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Minnesota, and Ohio.
The report came on the heels of a Live Action investigation that caught workers on video at eight Planned Parenthood facilities who were willing to cover up sexual abuse in six different states.
4. Worked with pro-abortion lawmakers to promote abortion and punish pro-life advocates
Earlier I mentioned Planned Parenthood’s political machine—and it’s no joke. Abortion cronyism is alive and well at all levels of government. In California for example, Planned Parenthood worked with Attorney General Kamala Harris to draft legislation to silence journalists who distribute recordings of insider communications of conversations involving abortion providers. This wildly unnecessary bill (it’s already illegal to make recordings without someone’s consent in California) is sponsored by Planned Parenthood, and creates extra criminal penalties—in this case $2,500 per violation, imprisonment of up to one year, or both—for those who distribute recordings of abortionists (ahem… “healthcare providers”).
Planned Parenthood is also a big advocate of laws targeting pro-life pregnancy centers. They’ve worked with pro-abortion lawmakers in Illinois, Hawaii, Maryland, New York, Texas, and California to pass unconstitutional laws that force pregnancy centers to advertise for the abortion industry. While most of the laws have been struck down in court, ADF will argue against the California law this March at the United States Supreme Court in the case of NIFLA v. Becerra.
5. Lied about prenatal care and mammograms
Planned Parenthood likes to pretend that they don’t focus on abortion. They claim it makes up just 3% of their services. Instead, they and their cronies try to highlight services like prenatal care and mammograms. In fact, Cecile Richards herself has been caught on video promoting both mammograms and prenatal care.
There’s just one problem—Planned Parenthood doesn’t do mammograms and provides hardly any prenatal care.
In fact, an investigative video by Live Action shows that while most Planned Parenthood locations include “prenatal care” under their list of services online, very few of them actually offer it. In fact, of the 97 Planned Parenthood facilities that Live Action called, only five actually offered prenatal care.
Once this was exposed, the backlash was not favorable to the abortion giant, which, after a few PR twists and flips, removed “prenatal care” from its location pages.
Cecile Richards’ reasons for stepping down from her Planned Parenthood perch are not yet known, but supporters don’t seem too broken up about it. Perhaps they are looking at Richards’ departure as just an end of an era or a chance for the organization to reinvent itself. Or maybe they have even bigger political plans for Cecile Richards. But if there’s anything that Planned Parenthood’s sordid history tells us, it’s that the abortion giant is never far from a scandal. The next president of Planned Parenthood better be prepared.
Get the latest updates from Alliance Defending Freedom delivered directly to your inbox.