Planned Parenthood Federation of America is a nonprofit organization affiliated with the International Planned Parenthood Federation, which supports reproductive, maternal and child health services. Planned Parenthood can be traced back to 1916, when Margaret Sanger and two others opened the first birth control clinic in the United States. She was subsequently arrested, but the clinic continued its work and became the American Birth Control League in 1921. It changed its name to Planned Parenthood Federation of America in 1942. Today, Planned Parenthood Federation of America provides medical services to about 3 million people. The organization is also affiliated with the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, Inc., which lobbies for pro-choice legislation and comprehensive sexual education.
Cecile Richards has served as president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America since 2006. In the past, Richards founded and served as president of America Votes, a coalition of progressive and Democratic organizations. She also served as deputy chief of staff to House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, and worked at the Turner Foundation. She founded the Texas Freedom Network in 1996 to combat the Christian right's influence. She resides in New York City and presently serves on the Ford Foundation's board of trustees.