Make Trouble by Cecile Richards
Cecile Richards knows how to make trouble. The former president of Planned Parenthood, is a welcomed or polarizing figure depending on who you ask. Feminists love her for her bold choices on women's healthcare. Others take issue with her stance on abortion and her work with Planned Parenthood. While her future endeavors might be uncertain, her no-nonsense attitude is abundantly clear. From her Texas roots to creating waves at her Brown, her alma mater, Richards's memoir is a fascinating look at how little girls grow up to be titans.
Having grown up in Texas to liberal minded parents, Richards was on a specific trajectory from the start. Her mother, Ann Richards, was the second female governor of Texas, and a democrat in the predominantly red state. Her father, a union lawyer, represented the disenfranchised and underserved, something Richards will do many years later at Planned Parenthood. It is very apparent in the first few chapters as to how Richards got to where she is today, it's engrained into the fabric of her being.
Of course Cecile Richards is synonymous with Planned Parenthood, she was after all, the president of the organization. And because of this, she can be a polarizing woman.
Planned Parenthood came under fire when videos were leaked showing the medical provider selling fetal tissue to researchers. It was later found that all the videos had been altered by an anti-abortion group known as the CMP or Center for Medical Progress. In Making Trouble Richards explains how she had to speak in front of the House Government Oversight committee, a nerve-wracking task dripping in political revenge. She had an uphill battle ahead of her: to defend Planned Parenthood to a committee hellbent on defunding the organization.
She was put through the ringer, had her character questioned and morals attacked. But, as you might know, came out a winner:
"And I'm glad to say this story has a happy ending. Congressman Chaffetz announced that the committee had found no evidence of wrongdoing by Planned Parenthood, and the committee disbanded. As for Chaffetz, he resigned his seat in Congress. Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy." - Excerpt from Make Trouble.
Make Trouble Book Review
Regardless of your political standpoint (although I don't know how many foes of Planned Parenthood, or Cecile Roberts, will pick up this book) it is a necessary read. For those of us who are scared, frustrated, or plainly pissed off with the current state of women's medical rights (nay, women's rights), Make Trouble is a sister in arms, a fire to light underneath you, or simply, inspiration.
Cecile Richards will feel like many things to you; the mentor you've never had, the sweet but stern mother you always knew you needed, and a guiding light in a dark time. You will learn a lot about the United States government, union rights, healthcare, and how infuriating politics can really be for women. When you feel hopeless or if you feel like your light has been dimmed just remember to make trouble.
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