After more than 35 years, 2021 will be my last one with Planned Parenthood of Michigan and Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan. In the past several months, I’ve reflected on my time as President and CEO here, and on the many significant challenges we’ve confronted together – and what challenges remain. Planned Parenthood of Michigan and Planned Parenthood Advocates of MI have come through some astounding difficulties in the last few years – the sudden loss of our Title X funding and the COVID pandemic being just the two most recent examples of upheaval. In navigating these and other crises – the ongoing, almost continuous efforts to defund Planned Parenthood, incredibly difficult (and expensive!) election cycles, the relentless policy moves meant to threaten our work – I am proud of how we faced those ordeals together, ensuring that no matter what came our way, our patient care, education and advocacy work always came first and our mission was never interrupted. I can’t tell you how vital your activism and your support have been to our success, and to our ability to get up every day and get back into the fight. Walking into a legislative hearing, preparing to combat the disinformation from our opponents, it has always made such an incredible difference to turn the corner and see a sea of pink t-shirts. We all know how hard this work can be – and how it gets a little lighter when we are all doing it together.
And our work won’t slow down now, either – as I told our team today, I am not letting my foot off the gas. We have so many important challenges to meet, starting with an election in 2022. We know that we have a once-in-a-political lifetime chance to flip the state House and Senate, and return our pro-abortion and pro-reproductive rights champs to statewide office. And we know how important it is that we do it – decades of bad policy and failed leadership mean we have a lot of repair work to do, and a lot of programs to rebuild. I’m making the choice to step away now because I believe it is time to add fresh voices to the conversation and new leadership to guide Planned Parenthood to its better, more inclusive future. I have committed to remain in my role until a new leader is named and an effective transition is made to ensure we continue to deliver vital health care, sexuality education, and advocacy to people across the state of Michigan. We have a lot of work to do, and I remain honored to be doing it alongside all of you.
In This Together,
President & CEO Planned Parenthood Advocates of Michigan
Planned Parenthood of Michigan