Cecile Richards is president of Planned Parenthood and she’s been everywhere in the media lately defending her organization against various criminal and ethics breaches as well as frantically responding to efforts in Congress to defund her organization. Such visibility is often mistaken for influence, and Time magazine (yes, it is still around)  has named Richards to their new list of the 100 most influential people in the world. Indeed, they are right, but not for the reasons they presume. Former Democratic Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi writes the brief panegyric to Richards, her former deputy chief of staff, and says the head of PP is  a wonderful person who is also tenacious in her defensive actions against the “comprehensive and radical attack on women’s health and reproductive freedom.” The need for those defensive actions might speak to how much PP had lost its influence, especially once the Democrats lost power, but there is only so much one can say in 200 words.

No, Richards is influential because she leads an organization that literally holds the power of life and death over others. Put aside everything about cancer screening, Planned Parenthood is known as the country’s largest abortionist for good reason: it is directly responsible for killing many tens of thousands of unborn children each and every year. That is power and power is influence. Richards and Planned Parenthood has radically influenced the America of the future. Because of Richards and her organization, America has fewer people than it might otherwise: fewer future students; fewer siblings, children and grandchildren; fewer friends and neighbours; fewer workers and taxpayers. Richards has influence, alright. But it is not benign and certainly not deserving of the praise heaped on her by Pelosi.