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Planned Parenthood North Central States names new CEO

Ruth Richardson in her Minnesota House of Representatives photo
Ruth Richardson in her Minnesota House of Representatives photo

A Minnesota Democrat is the new CEO of Planned Parenthood North Central States. Rep. Ruth Richardson will hold the title while also serving in the Minnesota House of Representatives.

Planned Parenthood North Central States provides reproductive care to the Dakotas, Minnesota, Nebraska and Iowa.

With South Dakota’s trigger laws essentially banning abortions, Richardson said the organization is preparing for expanded need.

“Everyone is going to be watching elections closely, people are going to be watching what courts are doing, and people are watching what’s happening in terms of looking at states that are putting this to a vote," Richardson said. "We just saw recently in Kansas where citizens came out and they defeated an abortion ban.”

Richardson said Planned Parenthood offers other services in states where abortion is now illegal.

“Everything from annual physicals, testing for STDs and STIs, hormone therapy, vasectomies, HIV testing - it’s all healthcare," Richardson said. "What we are really going to be focused on is ensuring every person continues to have control of their body in the future.

Richardson is a member of the Minnesota Democratic – Farmer – Labor party in the Minnesota legislature. She said she is prepared to recuse herself from relevant future votes.

“For example I would recuse myself if there was a bill to directly give money to Planned Parenthood. I would recuse myself from a vote on that," Richardson said.

Richardson will manage healthcare operations for the organization and will not oversee political work or lobbying while holding her legislative seat.

The current PPNCS CEO, Sarah Stoez, will be stepping aside in October.

C.J. Keene is a Rapid City-based journalist covering the legal system, education, and culture