If the president of America’s largest abortion provider runs for office, she can count on one thing: media support.
On Tuesday, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards’s new memoir, Make Trouble, became available to the public for purchase. The book comes a month before Richards steps down from her position at Planned Parenthood after 12 years. And it comes after days of the media – from CBS to BuzzFeed – repeatedly asking if “running for office” is in her near future.
At the same time, many of them won’t ask for the pro-life reaction: That Richards has indeed made trouble. In January, pro-life leaders mourned the “trail of misery” Richards will leave, including 3.8 million lives destroyed by abortion. That’s half of the estimated 7.6 million abortions Planned Parenthood has committed since Roe v. Wade, the 1973 Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.
Nor are the media focusing on the Justice Department recently signaling a federal investigation into the abortion giant for its handling of aborted baby parts.
Instead, media are excitedly anticipating Richards’s next move. A day before the book release, CBS This Morning invited Richards on as a guest. When Richards commented on the number of women running for office, co-anchor Gayle King took the opportunity to chime in.
“Women running for office, does that mean Cecile Richards running for office?” King needed to know. Richards teased with a “never say never.”
But Richards insists she’s not trying to be “coy.” On the day of her book’s publication, Mother Jones assistant news editor Becca Andrews asked Richards the same question.
“A lot of people [translation: the media] have speculated that you will run for office,” Andrews prompted. “Is there any truth to those rumors?”
Richards hinted with a maybe.
“I didn’t leave this job in order to throw my hat in the ring for president,” she responded. “Let’s just see what the competition is out there first. Honestly, I’ve thought about running for office before, so I’m not trying to be coy.”
Writing for Time magazine on Thursday, Belinda Luscombe wondered the same of Richards: “Would she run for office?” She had no answer, but stressed that Richards’s mother, Ann, formerly served as governor of Texas.
The question is nothing new. Media began asking it back in January, as soon as BuzzFeed broke the news that Richards would step down as Planned Parenthood president: “When asked if she could see herself running for office some day, she said, ‘I don’t know what my future holds,’” wrote reporters Ruby Cramer and Ema O’Connor.
For The New York Times, Amy Chozick also asked the “inevitable question” in January of whether “Ms. Richards plan[s] to run?” When Richards said that she was “not thinking of running” at the time, Chozick found Richards’s reply “emphatic,” but “not entirely convincing.”
Feminist news sites certainly weren’t convinced.
Refinery29 writer Andrea González-Ramírez actually researched whether or not Richards filed to run in the 2018 Texas election (she hadn’t). Bustle editor Jenny Hollander also hoped: “Hypothetically, the next gubernatorial election in Texas would be in November of this year.” And Romper writer Korey Lane added, “many are wondering if her next career move will be running for office.”
Many, that is, in the media. And as they track Richards’s next step, they forget the millions who will never take one, thanks to her organization.