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Truth is the first casualty when fawning press interviews Cecile Richards

by | Oct 4, 2016

By Dave Andrusko

PPFA President Cecile Richards

PPFA President Cecile Richards

It’d be interesting to do a Lexus Nexus search and see if any publication that is not a pro-life outlet (such as NRL News Today) has ever had a cross word, a slightly quizzical take, let alone criticism of Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards. I’m guessing if they do exist, they are few and far between.

But when Richards shows up in Texas, her home state, the media (which is overwhelmingly pro-abortion and makes no effort to hide its loathing for prominent pro-life Republicans) makes the usual adulatory press accounts seem like mere apple polishing.

Enter Peggy Fikac of the San Antonio Express-News. She interviewed Richards a few days ago and to say it was fawning would be like saying Hillary Clinton is a pro-abortion heroine.

Fikac’s first paragraph clobbers pro-life Texas Sen. Ted Cruz . Why? So as to contrast him with Richards’ “progressive” saintliness. (The headline is “Cecile Richards shows alternative to Ted Cruz’s Texas.”)

Indeed, running through Fikac’s gee whiz account (which includes only one throwaway line from a pro-lifer) is a portrait of Richards not as head of the largest abortion provider in the galaxy with a salary over a half-million a year who rubs elbows with the power elite, but as a humble martyr (“a lightning rod for the right,”) who modestly sent a correction to the Washington Post protesting a typically unctuous story that featured her at the expense of the folks.

The fact that her mother, in the 1990s, was the last Democrat to win a state-wide election, of course, doesn’t suggest that Texans do not vote for pro-abortion candidate. No, “the long GOP reign that she says doesn’t represent Texans’ desires, despite elections to the contrary.”

Despite many, many, many elections to the contrary.

The operative paragraphs for pro-lifers come about 2/3rds of the way into the story:

She has been a target of the right, memorably in 2014 when she wrote an essay for Elle magazine about having an abortion, saying she wanted to dispel the abortion stigma. The mother of three wrote simply, “It was the right decision for me and my husband, and it wasn’t a difficult decision.”

Asked about the criticism, she was steely: “That’s because people like to judge women about the decisions they make. I didn’t really know what the reaction would be, and honestly I didn’t really care. … Almost one in three women in this country will have an abortion. And they make these decisions for a whole host of reasons. … Women are the best people to know what’s the right decision for them.”

We’ve written on several occasions about the ELLE essay and the follow up interviews she gave and essays Richards wrote. See here; here; and here.

Two quick points.

First, I didn’t “target” her, and without reading every pro-lifer’s comment, I would guess neither did they. What I discussed was how Richards decided, after many years of not talking about having an abortion, to go public in a huge way in late 2014 and early 2015. I argued the timing was likely in response to the especially zany wing of the Pro-Abortion Movement which was growing (and continues to grow) larger and more vocal by the day.

These are the militants who really do believe that “telling your abortion story” will open the door to wider public acceptance just as saying “Open Sesame” opened the entrance to the cave filled with treasure. And, also, the not-so-subtle hint that if you are not with them (by telling your story), you are against them.

Not to be outflanked, Richards “told her story.”

Second, I do not believe for a nanosecond that her children were as nonchalant as she says they were when she told them they were short a sibling.

Of that conversation, she told Cosmopolitan

It was really awesome. It’s interesting, I just talked to my kids the other day, and they knew I’d had an abortion, and they were sort of like, “Mom, it was no big deal,” but I could also tell it was important to them that we talked about it.

“Sort of like” it was “no big deal.” You don’t have to be a parent to know this is blatant self- justification, which actually comes through at the end of the same sentence when Richards casually says “but I could also tell it was important to them that we talked about it.”

Indeed how could that possibly not be a “big deal”? You know your mom is a big shot in the “pro-choice” movement, runs in powerful circles, and is joined at the hip to pro-abortion President of the United States.


But while your mom has talked about being non-judgmental; about how having an abortion is as easy as pie; about “freeing women,” you didn’t know until that awkward moment that she non-judgmentally freed herself by having an easy-as-pie abortion of your brother or sister.

On a tear, Richards wrote an essay for TIME magazine in its April 28, 2015, edition. She concludes, “Women are increasingly feeling supported to share stories that have, in some cases, been kept silent for years.”


But they are not stories that celebrate their abortions. Overwhelmingly they are confessionals in which a woman says she would do anything if she could just go back in time and save her baby.

But those are not the kind of stories that TIME magazine gives space to or ELLE and Cosmopolitan tout to its readers.

Categories: PPFA