Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards sat down with Yahoo Global News Anchor Katie Couric to discuss reproductive rights in the 2016 campaigns (“the frontrunners for the Republican nomination make Mitt Romney look like a liberal”), the threats employees face when they work at clinics, and her own abortion years ago.
She’s always been open about getting an abortion, Richards told Couric, but she’s recently been inspired by women who share their own experiences on social media. “Almost 1 in 3 women in this country have had an abortion at some point in their lives,” she explained. “We need to end the shame around this procedure.”
Richards’s own abortion was a personal, joint decision with her husband, she told Couric. “We have three children that we adore and that are the center of my life. And we decided that was as big as our family needed to be. … I can’t imagine a woman being in that circumstance — with an unintended pregnancy and not being able to make her own decision about that pregnancy.”
But for many women in the U.S., that is the circumstance they’re in. Clinics have been closed across the country and even more are under threat. Many states have legal roadblocks that drag out the abortion process and increase wait time, and politicians are pushing for more. Plus, the hostility from protesters has put those who work at Planned Parenthood at risk. “Given this current environment and the hostility that some of the extremists have and their willingness to kind of go to these depths to shame doctors, it’s very tough [to find clinicians],” Richards told Couric.
Watch Richards talk about the elections, death threats, and more in the full interview on Yahoo News.