Planned Parenthood CEO Cecile Richards and GWB Daughter Barbara Bush Celebrate Lots in Common At Lunch

May 28, 2013 file photo, Barbara Bush, CEO of Global Health Corps, addresses the Women Deliver conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
AP Photo/Mark Baker

Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards and CEO of Global Health Corps Barbara Bush had lunch together in New York City, where they talked about how much they have in common despite the fact their parents have been political opponents.

Richards, 58, is the daughter of the late Gov. Ann Richards (D) of Texas who eventually lost to Bush’s father, Republican President George W. Bush, when he ran for governor of Texas in 1994.

“But there was no trace of animosity when the women met for lunch at Gotham Bar and Grill,” writes Philip Galanes of the New York Times who interviewed the two women as they ate black cod and branzino. “They are enthusiastic supporters of each other’s work.”

Galanes asked Richards and Bush about their “great commonality: women’s and global health. With your connections, I bet you could do anything you want.”

“Can I say how impressive Barbara is?” Richards gushed. “It’s one thing to work at a 100-year-old organization like Planned Parenthood, trying to shift the boat into the 21st century. But it’s another to say: ‘I see a problem, and I’m going to start an organization to fix it.’”

“Since I was born, in 1981, we’ve had the drugs to save the millions of kids around the world who die every year,” Bush explained. “Yet the number of deaths hasn’t dropped at all. We have the tools to keep people healthy, but the systems are broken.”

Richards commiserated with her: “It’s the same in reproductive health. We have the technology. But it’s not enough unless there’s public policy that supports getting women access to care.”

Richards’ abortion business Planned Parenthood has had a tough year trying to continue the narrative that abortion is “women’s healthcare.” The organization is struggling since a series of undercover videos exposed its apparent practices of selling the body parts of aborted babies on the open market and altering the position of babies during abortion in order to harvest the most intact organs.

Americans’ views of the abortion giant have grown increasingly negative, according to Gallup. In 1993, a huge majority — 81 percent — thought highly of Planned Parenthood, but now only 59 percent feel the same.

Global Health Corps (GHC) – which Bush, 34, founded in 2009 with her twin sister Jenna Bush Hager and other individuals – states its mission is “to mobilize a global community of emerging leaders to build the movement for health equity.”

Ultimately the group says its main concern is that “access to healthcare that exists today between the world’s rich and the world’s poor is unjust and unsustainable.”

“We believe that every person has the right to live a healthy, dignified life,” the organization says. “We also believe that everyone has a role to play in advancing social justice through the health equity movement.”

GHC provides opportunities for young people to “work on the frontlines of the fight for global health equity,” and offers paid fellowships for them with various “placement” organizations, among them Planned Parenthood Global.

One of the main connections Richards and Bush have is Hillary Clinton. Planned Parenthood and much of the abortion industry has endorsed Clinton – the presumptive Democrat nominee for president – and Richards herself is actively stumping for her this year. Clinton has said unborn babies have no constitutional rights and that, if elected president, she would work to have the Hyde Amendment repealed so that taxpayer funds could be used for abortions – an obvious boost for the abortion business.

Among Bush’s GHC “placement” organizations are the Clinton Development Initiative, the Clinton Health Access Initiative, and the Clinton Health Matters Initiative – all of which are part of the Clinton Foundation. Peter Schweizer’s book Clinton Cash: The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich details the vast amounts of money that have flowed toward both Bill and Hillary Clinton through their foundation from corporations and nations seeking favorable treatment from them.

In August of 2013, Bush said she hoped Clinton would run for president because she is “unbelievably accomplished.”

Richards continued bemoaning the decline in her business’ popularity with her claim there is a “disconnect between political rhetoric and where the American people are” regarding abortion:

They believe folks should have access to health care and family planning. They believe young people should have sex education. No parent wants their child to get an infection, or get pregnant before they’re ready. We’re at a 30-year low for unintended pregnancy in America. In any other moment, folks would go: “Wow! Let’s do more of that. It’s good for women and saves money.” But the political environment is tough right now.

Bush agreed, saying, “It’s crazy, and sad to think that health care is a polarizing issue,” and continued that the young people in her organization are able to “work on social change” at “Planned Parenthood and other exceptional organizations.”

“My biggest hope is that we can take partisanship out of this arena,” Richards persisted, adding:

Not to get too political, but we have Republican patients and staff members and board members. The need for health care doesn’t come with a party label. Under the Affordable Care Act, every woman who has health insurance gets birth control at no cost. That’s 55 million women. We don’t have to invent a new kind of birth control. We just have to close the lid between needing it and delivering it. And I’m optimistic that we’re on the cusp of making that happen.

You’ve got to be an optimist,” Bush agreed.


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