U.S.: The abortion rights movement is bolder than it’s been in years. That’s Cecile Richards’s plan.

Cecile Richards took the helm of Planned Parenthood in 2006 and has turned the organization into a political juggernaut. (Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post)

By Caitlin Gibson August 16 at 10:48 AM
Washington Post

On the morning of one of the most important days in her career, Cecile Richards waited anxiously in her office at Planned Parenthood headquarters in Manhattan, texting furiously with friends across the country.

A few minutes past 10 a.m., a message from her daughter flashed across the screen. A single word: Yay!

“That was when I knew we’d won,” Richards says, recalling the moment when she learned of the decision in the biggest abortion-related case to come before the Supreme Court in more than two decades. In a 5-to-3 vote, the justices had ruled that Texas’s restrictions on abortion clinics placed an “undue burden” on women seeking to end their pregnancies.

Seeing that text, the president of Planned Parenthood ran out of her office and joined her staff, gathered around television sets, clapping and crying, to revel in a moment of joy.

“It was a little bit unreal,” she recalls of the day’s emotions.

The decision in Whole Woman’s Health v. Hellerstedt was a significant victory for abortion providers nationwide. And it came at a significant moment.

One hundred years after Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger began educating women about birth control in New York and 43 years after Roe v. Wade, the reproductive rights movement in America is at a pivotal crossroads. Facing hundreds of restrictive laws nationwide, abortion rights advocates are going on the offensive with a new strategy.

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Source: Washington Post