President and CEO of Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, President of the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund of Massachusetts
One year ago today, I joined Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts as its new President and Chief Executive Officer and the Planned Parenthood Advocacy Fund as its new President. When I started, Planned Parenthood health centers and the communities we serve were the target of a deceptive smear campaign and federal defunding attacks. During that time, we delivered a message loud and clear to patients, supporters, and politicians alike: Our Doors Stay Open.
Fast-forward one year and we’re staring down what promises to be more challenges under a Trump Administration. And those four simple words, once again, say it all: Our Doors Stay Open.
My anniversary at Planned Parenthood, combined with the anticipation of the Thanksgiving holiday, has me thinking a lot about this past year and what may lie ahead in this uncertain future. I’m thankful for the lessons I’ve learned over the past year and believe they will come in handy as we prepare for the volatile national political climate. In fact, I have plenty to be thankful for and here are some of those reasons:
1.) I’m thankful for the staff of PPLM’s health centers, who wake up every morning, open our health center doors, and provide compassionate and inclusive health care to patients across Massachusetts.
I’m thankful for PPLM’s team of educators, who ensure young people receive the information they need to live healthy and empowered lives.
I’m thankful for the Advocacy’s Fund’s work to protect PPLM’s very ability to deliver care in Massachusetts – while fighting to pass proactive policies to improve sexual and reproductive health care access for everyone.
I’m thankful to all Planned Parenthood staff, who ensure everyone has access to the health care and information they need – no matter what.
2.) I’m thankful for you – our supporters.
In the wake of the election, we have seen an unprecedented outpouring of support from both new and longtime supporters, volunteers, friends, and grateful patients.
3.) I’m thankful for our allies and partners in the movement, particularly our reproductive justice partners.
Donald Trump’s words have incited harassment and violence across the country, targeting people of color, immigrants, LGBTQ folks, and other marginalized communities. This hateful rhetoric has prompted a determination and unity to push back against these attacks.
We will fight in solidarity with our partners to make sure this country does not move backward, that blatant and institutionalized discrimination does not become our new normal. We will continue to fight for policies that unite us and protect the rights of all people.
4.) I’m thankful for our elected officials, both locally and nationally, who stand with Planned Parenthood.
In Massachusetts, many state and local leaders have vowed to protect equal rights and health care access in our communities across the Commonwealth. Nationally, we have champions in Congress from Massachusetts who are fighting to protect these rights for everyone in the country.
Particularly now, I’m hopeful our state leaders will work hard to transform Massachusetts into a national leader on these issues and to ensure every person in Massachusetts can access the sexual and reproductive health care they need – no matter what.
While there will be tough battles ahead, I’m especially thankful to know there are so many of us fighting back. Planned Parenthood has been here for 100 years, and we will never stop fighting to ensure PPLM's patients have access to the care they need.