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Cecile Richards, President of Planned Parenthood, Named One of TIME Magazine’s 100 Most Influential People in the World
One of Only 10 People to be Named to Prestigious List for Second Year in a Row
For the second year in a row, TIME magazine has named Cecile Richards, president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), to the 2012 TIME 100, the magazine’s annual list of the 100 most influential people in the world. The full list and related tributes appear in the April 30 issue of TIME, available on newsstands on Thursday, April 19, and now at www.time.com/time100.
Richards is one of the most recognized and respected figures in the field of women’s health and reproductive rights. As president of PPFA and the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Richards leads a dynamic organization, with an affiliate network that provides high-quality, affordable health care services to nearly three million women, men and teens each year. PPFA also provides sexual health information at plannedparenthood.org, which receives more than 33 million visits each year.
Richards is one of only 10 people named to the list for the second year in a row. Others include U.S. President Barack Obama, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel.
“I am thrilled to once again accept this honor on behalf of generations of women who have stood with Planned Parenthood as the health centers have delivered preventive health care to nearly three million patients across the country,” Richards said. “Amidst the unprecedented assault on access to basic health care over the past year, Planned Parenthood has never wavered in our commitment to protecting women’s health and providing access to lifesaving cancer screenings, birth control, and sex education. In this critical election year where women’s health is being used as a political football, support for our work is more crucial than ever before.”
Under Richards’ leadership, Planned Parenthood has built the largest women’s health advocacy organization in America, with over six million supporters. Most recently, Richards led Planned Parenthood’s effort to secure birth control coverage, with no costly co-pays and no additional hurdles, for all women no matter where they work. In the past year alone, Planned Parenthood has gained over one million new supporters, half of them under the age of 35. Richards introduced the PPFA Youth Initiatives Program to train teens from across the United States in advocacy, lobbying, and media outreach so they can mobilize their peers and organize grassroots efforts on behalf of sex education and reproductive rights locally, nationally and globally. She has also overseen the introduction of groundbreaking mobile web, chat, and text applications that promise to make Planned Parenthood services available to people any time of day or night, wherever they may be.
Before joining Planned Parenthood, Richards served as deputy chief of staff for Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi. In 2004, she founded and served as president of America Votes, a coalition of 42 national grassroots organizations, working to maximize registration, education, and voter participation nationwide. Richards began her career organizing low-wage workers in the hotel, health care, and janitorial industries throughout California, Louisiana, and Texas.
The list, now in its ninth year, recognizes the activism, innovation, and achievement of the world’s most influential individuals. As TIME Managing Editor Richard Stengel has said of the list in the past, “The TIME 100 is not a list of the most powerful people in the world, it’s not a list of the smartest people in the world, it’s a list of the most influential people in the world. They’re scientists, they’re thinkers, they’re philosophers, they’re leaders, they’re icons, they’re artists, they’re visionaries. People who are using their ideas, their visions, their actions to transform the world and have an effect on a multitude of people.”
Follow @TIME for updates about the list on Twitter and at Facebook.com/TIME. The hashtag is #TIME100.