Look, it’s hard to stay positive night after night when your job is trying to find the lighter side of a nation under Donald Trump, but, on Thursday’s Daily Show, Trevor Noah brought in a stalwart ally in Planned Parenthood and Planned Parenthood Action Fund president Cecile Richards. And, sure, with Donald Trump and his staunchly anti-choice (and LGBTQ, and birth control, and probably skirts for women) veep Mike Pence in the White House, Richards might seem an unlikely source of positivity. You know, since Trump, Pence, and the Republican Party currently in control of congress have railed against her organization, women’s healthcare, women’s access to birth control, and just plain women since Trump took office just over a year ago. But Richards was plenty optimistic about the future of reproductive and women’s rights in this country—and she brought the numbers to back it up.
Labeling last January’s Women’s March “the largest march in the history of the United States of America,” Richards told Noah that last year’s historic demonstration in support of women’s rights (and against those mainly Republican gasbags seeking to curtail those rights) was just the beginning. Calling 2017's march about mobilizing women, Richards said that this month’s second march was about getting women “to do.” She also followed up on her remarks at this year’s Women’s March about white women needing to “do better” in the movement for equality, saying that women of color have always been the most engaged and dedicated voters and activists in America. “The rest of us need to be doing more,” she concluded. Noting that an unprecedented 30,000 women across the country have contacted the woman-centric political action committee Emily’s List in preparation for running for office, Richards (herself the daughter of former Texas Governor Ann Richards) told Noah, “Women are poised to completely change the direction of congress,” adding, “and it’s about time.”
Along those lines, she and Noah shared a laugh at a clip of Donald Trump (the first president to ever speak in person at the anti-choice March for Life) solemnly telling a nodding crowd that, in some places, “it’s common for a baby to be born from his and or her mother’s womb in the ninth month.” “Shocking,” deadpanned Richards, continuing, “And the shocking thing is that it’s been happening for centuries.” And while Noah opined that he imagines Trump’s misstatement stems from the guy not actually giving a crap about the issue of abortion, Richards noted that Trump typifies “the danger of having people in office, particularly people who cannot get pregnant themselves, making decisions about women’s bodies and their lives.” She went on to note that, partly thanks to Planned Parenthood and President Barack Obama’s dedication to expanding coverage for birth control and affordable healthcare and family planning (all of which are on the Republicans’ hit list), both teen pregnancy and abortion are at their lowest levels in generations. Dodging Noah’s question about recent reports that she would be stepping down from her 12-year position as president of Planned Parenthood, Richards instead reiterated that those (overwhelmingly male) politicians in Washington should start watching their asses (instead of, like Trump, talking out of them), telling Noah that this rising wave of women candidates are preparing to “dominate the 2018 elections.” About time, indeed.