Politics & Polls #135: Reproductive Rights Featuring Cecile Richards

Apr 18 2019
By Sophie Helmers and B. Rose Kelly
Topics Politics

Reproductive rights have been a contentious issue for decades and have come into particular focus during the Trump presidency.

In this episode, Julian Zelizer discusses possible futures for reproductive rights in the United States with Cecile Richards, former president of Planned Parenthood.

In their conversation, they talk about the Trump administration’s efforts to restrict reproductive rights in the legislature and in the judiciary. Richards discusses state-led efforts to limit reproductive rights and the wide-ranging implications of the Kavanaugh confirmation. She also explains several of the interconnections among reproductive rights, women’s rights, health care rights, and more.

Richards is a national leader for womens rights and social and economic justice. She was the president of Planned Parenthood for twelve years and previously served as the deputy chief of staff for House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. Richards is also the author of The New York Times’ bestseller “Make Trouble: Stand Up, Speak Out, and Find the Courage to Lead.”


Zelizer has been among the pioneers in the revival of American political history. He is the Malcolm Stevenson Forbes, Class of 1941 Professor of History and Public Affairs at Princeton University and a CNN political analyst. He has written more than 900 op-eds, including his popular weekly column for CNN.com and The Atlantic. This year, he is the distinguished senior fellow at the New York Historical Society, where he is writing a biography of Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel for Yale University's Jewish Lives Series. He is the author and editor of more than 19 books including, “The Fierce Urgency of Now: Lyndon Johnson, Congress, and the Battle for the Great Society,” the winner of the D.B. Hardeman Prize for the Best Book on Congress. In January 2019, Norton will publish his new book, co-authored with Kevin Kruse, “Fault Lines: A History of the United States Since 1974.” In spring 2020, Penguin Press will publish his other book, “Burning Down the House: Newt Gingrich, The Fall of a Speaker, and the Rise of the New Republican Party.” He has received fellowships from the Brookings Institution, the Guggenheim Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation and New America.