By Clare Malone
Polls from that time found that favorability ratings for Planned Parenthood were down. A January 2016 survey from CBS News and The New York Times showed that only 43 percent of people had a favorable view of the organization. And an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll from June of that year found that 48 percent of registered voters had “very” or “somewhat” positive feelings toward Planned Parenthood. But by 2017, the public’s view of Planned Parenthood had improved — a March 2017 Fox News poll found the organization’s favorability rating to be 57 percent.
After years of stress tests, Planned Parenthood seems to be more or less at a natural equilibrium ahead of Richards’s departure. Her tenure is ending at a time when women’s marches against Trump have proved to be bright spots of grass-roots activity on the left and the Democratic Party hopes to win back at least one chamber of Congress. Richards will be leaving with a heightened political profile, and she has a memoir coming out in the spring. And her exit is happening in the midst of a national conversation about the structural inequalities facing American women.
Cecile Richards will likely not fade into the sunset.