Planned Parenthood’s president Cecile Richards sat down for an interview with Lena Dunham, for Lenny newsletter, and she didn’t pull any punches. Dunham quizzed Richards about how she maintained her composure despite an onslaught from Republican lawmakers in Congress, intent on defunding Planned Parenthood’s health centers, including in September, when Richards testifed before Congress in the wake of accusations that the organization was selling fetal tissue for profit.
“It is kind of shocking to me, particularly in Congress, the amount of hostility toward women, and just basic anger,” Richards told Dunham, having explained that pride in her organization helped her face the stresses of giving testimony.
“It doesn’t surprise me that they don’t know much about women’s health or women’s bodies or what a breast exam actually consists of,” she said. “But it did stun me how little they cared. And how little empathy they have for women who basically don’t have access to health care in this country. That is shocking. You shouldn’t be able to be in Congress and not care about women at all.
The intimate conversation also covered aspects of Richards’ upbringing; her son’s wholehearted support of full reproductive rights and the fatal shooting at a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic in November.