Dispatches From The War On Women: A Political Dynasty (Female Version)

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When Cecile Richards, president of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund took the stage at the Democratic National Convention last week, it was remarkable for a number of reasons, not least because it represented one of the first visible matrilineal political legacies in a post-Roe v. Wade world.

Richards mother, Ann Richards, was the funny and firery 45th Governor of Texas. Richards rose to national prominence after her 1988 Democratic National Convention keynote address. The speech filleted the Reagan Administration and then-Vice President George H. W. Bush for its crony capitalism, exploding defense costs and attacks on the social safety net. It was funny and smart and exactly would later help define Richards legacy as a politician.

Like her mother, Cecile Richards had biting words for Republicans and their attacks on women’s health. And like her mother, who Cecile invoked in her own address, Richards made it clear that attacks against expanding access to health care were about much more than just an opposition to “big government.”

“She reminded us there was a time when folks had to drink from separate water fountains, when kids were punished for speaking Spanish in school, when women couldn’t vote,” the younger Richards said. “Just a couple of years before she passed, Mom had the chance to become friends with a young senator named Barack Obama. She saw in him the promise of the future, and the promise of America — the promise of an America that always moves forward.”

This promise of America that always moves forward, for women, is a promise that exists hand-in-hand with the protections guaranteed by Griswold v. Connecticut and Roe v. Wade. That’s because those promises make progress for women possible. Women’s ability to control their reproduction means the ability to control, to a large degree, their professional destinies. Political legacies take generations to build–just as the Kennedys or the Bushs. And now, thanks to our grandmothers who fought for the vote and our mothers who fought for the right to control our bodies, women can start to build those legacies of their own.

Photo from cote via flickr.


Susan T.
Susan T5 years ago

Maybe there's hope for Texas!!!

pam w.
pam w5 years ago

She and the Castro brothers give me a glimmer of hope for Texas!

Gene Jacobson
Gene Jacobson5 years ago

One can only hope that Texans come to their collective senses once again and I believe it will as time marches on and the voting population becomes more reflective of the America that is being built as I type, an America that is no longer 74% white, but much more diverse than it has ever been. I hope before that happens that this articulate young woman follows her esteemed mother into the Governorship of the great state of Texas and helps bring it into the 21st century. I well remember her mother and Cecile certainly seems exceedingly well qualified to do exactly that, lead. And Texas certainly needs leadership of higher quality than George W. and Rick Perry! Maybe she can even get Karl Rove out of that state, that would be an added bonus. Not that the snake will ever go away completely, though one can hope. And I do...

Carole R.
Carole R5 years ago


Marilyn J Leger
Marilyn L5 years ago

Go Ann! Go Cecile! Is there another daughter? granddaughter?

Marilyn L.
Marilyn L5 years ago

Ann Richards was the best governor Texas has ever had. It was good to see and hear her daughter speak.

a             y m.
g d c5 years ago


Marianne C.
Marianne C5 years ago

I'm not sure two generations is a dynasty... but it's a good start.

Ken W.
Ken W5 years ago

War on Women/Romney and Ryan !!! Down with gop !!

Abbe A.
Azaima A5 years ago

nice to have a good dynasty