NEW YORK (AP) — Cecile Richards, who led Planned Parenthood through 12 tumultuous years, says she is stepping down as president.
Under Richards’ leadership, the organization gained in membership and donor support but found itself in constant conflict with social conservatives for its role as the leading abortion provider in the United States.
The organization provides a range of health services at clinics nationwide. Republicans in Congress tried repeatedly to cut off federal funding that helps subsidize Planned Parenthood’s services to some patients. Several congressional committees investigated the organization’s role in providing post-abortion fetal tissue to researchers.
The 60-year-old Richards is the daughter of former Texas Gov. Ann Richards. Before joining planned Parenthood, she was a union organizer and deputy chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, among other roles.