Cecile Richards stepping down as Planned Parenthood head: report

Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards has plans to step down from her post, according to a Wednesday report from BuzzFeed News. 

“Cecile plans to discuss 2018 and the next steps for Planned Parenthood’s future at the upcoming board meeting,” an official told BuzzFeed

Planned Parenthood did not immediately respond to The Hill's request for comment. 

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Richards has served as the president of the Planned Parenthood and its political arm, Planned Parenthood Action Fund, since 2006. She has played a large role in increasing the organization's fundraising efforts and political participation.

Richards defended her group's mission in an op-ed published in The Hill in September.

“The truth is one in five women in this country has relied on Planned Parenthood at some point in her lifetime. Every senator represents these women, who together make up a great and powerful Planned Parenthood alumni group. With so many patients and advocates in each of the 50 states, any bill that blocks people from receiving care at Planned Parenthood is a nonstarter,” she wrote.

Richards's reported departure comes as abortion- and contraceptive-rights advocates battle with anti-abortion organizations and politicians at the state and federal levels. 

Vice President Pence last March cast a tie-breaking vote in the Senate on a bill that permitted states to defund Planned Parenthood, as well as other abortion providers across the U.S. 

President TrumpDonald John TrumpAccuser says Trump should be afraid of the truth Woman behind pro-Trump Facebook page denies being influenced by Russians Shulkin says he has White House approval to root out 'subversion' at VA MORE signed the legislation into law in April. 

Earlier this month, while addressing the anti-abortion March for Life via video, Trump called on the Senate to take up a ban on abortions after 20 weeks, which passed the House last year. 

"Under my administration, we will always defend the very first right in the Declaration of Independence, and that is the right to life," Trump said.

The Trump administration last October also rolled back an Obama-era rule that employers provide contraception in insurance coverage. 

The president also expanded the so-called Mexico City policy in May, which blocks federal funding for international family planning charities that provide abortions or promote the procedure.