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Planned Parenthood Prez a “Role Model” for Women? In What Universe?

Cecile Richards of Planned Parenthood

When a prominent magazine issues a list titled, “The 100 Most Influential People in the World,” you expect to be…oh, I don’t know…inspired? by the people on it. Instead, I came away wondering why the majority of women Time magazine claims “inspire us, entertain us, challenge us, and change our world” made me feel more embarrassed than proud of the impact many women are having on the world.

Yes, there were a few women on the list truly admirable and it would seem most of them live outside the United States. Like Maryam Durani, an Afghani woman whose radio broadcasts calling for women’s rights in her country has earned her assassination attempts by the Taliban. And Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, a filmmaker who documented acid throwing attacks on Pakistani women. And Manal al-Sharif, the Rosa Parks of Saudi Arabia, who videotaped herself driving in a place where it’s illegal for women to drive. Though she was jailed for nine days and publicly shamed, her defiance started a movement.

Then we get to the rest of the women Time considers influential. And I couldn’t help but notice just how different the contributions of women from developed nations were from those of the amazing Middle Eastern women listed. In addition to the usual “first woman to head” major corporations, countries, and universities, the list included:

  • Two comediennes I had never heard of before;
  • Sarah Burton—designer of Kate Middleton’s wedding gown;
  • Sara Blakely—creator of Spanx, a modern-day girdle;
  • E.L. James—whose books are famous for explicit sex scenes featuring sadomasochistic bondage;
  • Claire Danes–not for herself, but for her fictional character on TV: a CIA agent who does drugs and sleeps with married men;
  • Anjali Gopalan Naz—who works to convince gays and lesbians in  India that condoms will protect them from AIDS; and (my personal favorite)
  • Cecile Richards—president of Planned Parenthood.

From what I can tell, Time considers a woman influential if she can 1) claw her way to the top of the corporate world or political scene; 2) crack a good joke; 3) help women to look skinny and sexy; and 4) help women kill their babies. It’s hard to feel feminism has made vast strides when this is who we’re holding up as influential women. Elizabeth Cady Stanton would be so proud.

The most offensive addition, of course, is Cecile Richards, head of Planned Parenthood. If Time had any integrity, Richards wouldn’t even be on the list, since the majority of Americans voted against her in the magazine’s online poll. But I digress.

As a friend said, “I thought influence was supposed to mean something positive.” Richards’ online biographer, the much ballyhooed Sandra Fluke, called the woman who heads our nation’s largest abortion provider “a role model for all of us.” To me, calling Cecile Richards a role model for women is like calling Snoop Dogg a role model for clean living.

With Richards at the helm, Planned Parenthood has:

There’s so much more, but I have kids to raise and you’ll be here all day if I kept going.

The tide seems to be turning on Richard’s organization; there are federal, state, and local investigations going on into Planned Parenthoods, which is one of the reasons breast cancer giant Susan G. Komen pulled funding to it. In the wake of the Kermit Gosnell nightmare, some have even criminally charged the local Planned Parenthood for aborting babies that could have survived outside the womb, which is unprecedented.

With all the negative publicity, Richards has done her best to paint the nation’s largest abortion provider as a David going up against the Goliath of conservative groups. It has especially targeted the Church by trying to frame the ObamaCare contraception mandate as a “War on Women” instead of the religious liberty issue it is. Which is, of course, why Time ignored the public and named Richards to the list anyway. Planned Parenthood’s exposure as a business that won’t hesitate to sacrifice the very women it claims to help is causing many Americans to realize “there’s something rotten in the state of Denmark.”  It’s clear Time’s nod to Richards was nothing but damage control.

There are millions of women out there who are truly influencing our world for good. And not one of them has blood on her hands.

 

 

About Misty

Misty converted to Catholicism from atheism 10 years ago, just a week after becoming a mother to her first child. Prior to becoming a stay-at-home mom, she worked full-time as a magazine writer and editor. She has been married to her best friend for nearly 15 years and looks forward to many more decades by his side. Her days are now spent cooking, doing laundry, freelance writing, and homeschooling her four children. After spending so much of her life in spiritual darkness, she revels in the joy of being Catholic. Without a doubt, the Lord’s greatest gift to her has been saving her from a life without Him.

April 19, 2012 - 7:20 am

Margaret B - I couldn’t agree more, Misty. Thank you. I’m glad I wasn’t the only one baffled by the list.

April 19, 2012 - 10:13 am

Erika D - Amen, sister! This is a sad world we live in where murders of defenseless children in the womb are considered “influential” – I guess since there is such a thing as negative influence…she gets to be on the list. Maybe it’s Time’s way of WARNING women NOT TO CONTINUE being influenced by Cecile and her deviant organization who lie to the public, steal money from them, and then call themselves defenders of women’s rights! Yeah right! In addition, promoting sexual promiscuity of teenagers to later have them as “patients” is REPULSIVE! Great post, Misty!

April 19, 2012 - 10:47 am

Emily - :clap::clap::clap::clap::clap:
Encore!

April 19, 2012 - 11:12 am

Carol@simple_catholic - This is an absolutely fantastic article. I couldn’t agree more!
Carol@simple_catholic recently posted..The Intermittent Fasting Journey – Take TwoMy Profile

April 19, 2012 - 11:22 am

From the Pews - While I share your Passion, Misty, I can also understand why she is on the list.

All one need do is click on your links to find the answer…

Thank you for Sharing.
From the Pews recently posted..“Planned Parenthood Prez a “Role Model” for Women? In What Universe?” and My TakeMy Profile

April 19, 2012 - 11:44 am

Stacy Trasancos - “To me, calling Cecile Richards a role model for women is like calling Snoop Dogg a role model for clean living.”

Well put. {shudder}

April 19, 2012 - 12:40 pm

Maria DeGuzman - “influential” used to denote something positive. Ms. Richards is indeed influential in the same sense that violence, drugs & sex on TV & the internet are. She must have been voted in by the majority of Time’s panel of judges. Was it Albert Einstein who said that sometimes the majority simply means that all the idiots are on the same side?

April 19, 2012 - 1:30 pm

Kerri - I’m curious: what was the vote on Ms. Richards?

Excellent article!! Thank you for sharing.
Kerri recently posted..Find me with the Sistas todayMy Profile

April 19, 2012 - 1:57 pm

Becky - When I voted on Time’s website (for Cardinal Dolan and against Ms. Richards), the numbers for Ms. Richards were VASTLY in the “don’t include” category. I believe the percentage in the “include” was like 28% or so. I remember being shocked & thrilled that it was so low.

April 19, 2012 - 8:21 pm

Trena - The write-up of Cecile starts off: Planned Parenthood’s Cecile Richards, 54, is a role model for all of us as she leads women in pursuit of unfettered access to health care and reproductive freedom.

I guess I am not a woman because I couldn’t disagree more.

I’ve sent a message to all my friends in Christ to write a letter to the Editor on how wrong they are for selecting her. Time needs a mailbox full of letters which politely disagree.
Trena recently posted..Wearing the VeilMy Profile

April 20, 2012 - 6:45 am

Sr. Colleen Clair, FMA - You are so right. We fail to uphold moral leaders and women ready to sacrifice for their children.
Sr. Colleen Clair, FMA recently posted..Sirach 15:15-16My Profile

April 23, 2012 - 8:50 pm

Amy - I ask this not to offend, but because I’m genuinely interested in hearing the answer.

I can definitely understand (and in some cases agree with) your objections to the majority of women that you list, but I’m curious about your objection to Anjali Gopalan Naz.

As someone who as volunteered, worked, and traveled extensively within the Indian subcontinent I cannot begin to explain the devastating effect that the AIDS virus has had on the population. Not just on gays and lesbians, but on heterosexuals, and young children as well. Anjali Gopalan Naz’s work as had a tremendous impact on reducing the number of AIDS cases in India and educating members of the population on methods of treatment and prevention. And yes, some of those methods include education regarding/distribution of prophylaxis.

I accept that to many, ideally, the spread of AIDS would be prevented through abstinence and by adhering to Catholic laws, but in India, where the vast majority of the population are non-Christians, this is (in my opinion) completely unrealistic.

From a practical standpoint, what is the harm in her helping to prevent the spread of this devastating disease? Especially in a part of the world when much of the population in uneducated and has very little access to many of the resources(educational, religious, financial, or otherwise) that we in the West are fortunate enough to have access to.

Thank you for allowing me to comment, and I look forward to learning from our dialogue.

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