The head of Planned Parenthood Federation of America will talk about how the group’s more than 100 years of work has made the world healthier and safer for women through care, education, and activism.
Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards will deliver The Benson and Pamela Harer Seminar on History from 1:10 to 2 pm Sunday in Ballroom D. She also will receive ACOG’s Lifetime Advocacy Award.
A frequent speaker on issues related to women’s rights, reproductive health, and sex education, Richards joined Planned Parenthood in 2006. She has led efforts to improve access to health care and to ensure that Planned Parenthood played a pivotal role in shaping health care coverage and services for women under the Affordable Care Act. The number of active Planned Parenthood supporters has more than tripled since 2006, surpassing 11 million.
Planned Parenthood was founded in 1916 when Margaret Sanger, her sister, Ethel Byrne, and fellow activist Fania Mindell opened a birth control clinic in Brooklyn, which was raided by police and closed days after opening.
Today, more than 600 Planned Parenthood health centers across the United States provide health care services to 2.4 million patients and sex education to more than 1.5 million people yearly. Planned Parenthood websites, including Planned Parenthood in Español, receive an estimated 76 million visits each year.
Richards began her career organizing low-wage workers in the hotel, health care, and janitorial industries throughout California, Louisiana, and Texas. She also served as deputy chief of staff for House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. In 2004, Richards founded and served as president of America Votes, a coalition of 42 national grassroots organizations working to maximize voter registration, education, and participation.