After heading up Planned Parenthood for more than a decade, Cecile Richards is reportedly stepping down from her post as president, sources told Buzzfeed.
In a statement, Planned Parenthood officials said only that “Cecile plans to discuss 2018 and the next steps for Planned Parenthood’s future at the upcoming board meeting,” to be held next week.
Richards has become something of a household name among anyone even passingly familiar with reproductive rights. Under her decade-long reign, Richards pushed Planned Parenthood into the mainstream consciousness, simultaneously waging national, celebrity-studded campaigns while flexing considerable power in the face of politicians hellbent on cutting women off from reproductive care.
Even before Trump entered office, Richards spent a great deal of time testifying in the face of weeping Republicans, defending the critical role Planned Parenthood plays in women’s health. In the time since then, its services have become both more essential and more embattled, with multiple centers across the country shuttering at the behest of conservative politicians.
Richards also shepherded the organization through the ongoing fiasco regarding its use of fetal tissue, ignited in 2015 based on heavily-edited videos produced by anti-abortion activist David Daleiden. Last month, it was reported that the Justice Department is again looking into the previously debunked claim that Planned Parenthood was selling the tissue, though an actual investigation has yet to be opened.
Richards has not publicly shared her plans for the future, though her memoir, Make Trouble, is slated for release in April.
We’ve reached out to Planned Parenthood for more information, and will update if we receive a response.