Sunday’s New York Times carried reporter Amy Chozick’s exit interview with Cecile Richards, the retiring president of Planned Parenthood: “Planned Parenthood Chief, Exiting, Plans Her Next Move.” She led off with an unlikely anecdote from Richards making pro-lifers out as hypocrites and the leader of America’s largest abortion mill as an advocate for women’s health care.
According to Cecile Richards, the president of Planned Parenthood for over a decade, protesters who wave anti-abortion signs outside one of the organization’s clinics will sometimes return -- a week, a month or a year later -- for an annual medical exam.
Like a good sycophant, Chozick worked in a plug for Richards’ book:
The move is well timed for her to promote a new memoir: “Make Trouble: Standing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding the Courage to Lead -- My Life Story,” which Touchstone will publish in April. Ms. Richards said she planned to pour herself into the midterm elections, fund-raising and campaigning for Democrats, and advising the expected record number of women candidates.
Even when acknowledging that not everyone considers Richards a heroine, Chozick can’t help but flatter:
Her refrain that Planned Parenthood is apolitical will strike some as laughable. Depending on whom you ask, the elegant 60-year-old is a national “hero” or a “deeply evil woman” and “mass murderer.”
There was a single paragraph on the video sting showing Planned Parenthood discussing selling fetal tissue, then more of Richards' glorious baiting of conservative politicians:
On the contrary, Ms. Richards seemed to relish her role as the consummate rabble-rouser to Republicans. She was practically giddy relaying the time she visited a Planned Parenthood clinic in Kenosha, Wis., in the district represented by Paul D. Ryan, the Republican speaker of the House.
Of course, Chozick sees only one “dark side” on the issue:
But the work, and her visibility, had a dark side. Death threats to abortion providers, blockades, fires and protests at Planned Parenthood clinics -- already hotbeds of political unrest -- increased after the videos....
No conservative criticism could go unchallenged, and even Richards' evasion of the word "abortion" was "masterful":
Many conservatives are celebrating the end of her reign. “Cecile Richards Leaves Behind Brutal Legacy,” read a headline in The Blaze. The story estimated the group had performed 328,384 abortions in 2016. Planned Parenthood disputed those figures, adding that the organization served 2.4 million patients that year, largely for physical exams, breast exams and the treatment of sexually transmitted infections.
[Richards] seemed more reserved about using the word abortion, masterfully pivoting to phrases like “women’s health” and “reproductive medicine” when a reporter brought them up.
Ironically, the Times itself is fond of euphemisms like “reproductive rights” and “women’s health” to describe abortion. The talk then turned to Richards running for office in the footsteps of her “beloved” mother:
Ms. Richards’s reply is emphatic (if not entirely convincing).
“I’m not thinking of running for anything,” she said.
The paper’s love affair with Richards (and Planned Parenthood) extends back to her debut in 2006, when reporter Robin Finn pitted “retro” pro-lifers against the “magnetic” new Planned Parenthood head.