Moving Forward Newsletter - Summer 2019

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Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin Newsletter





SAVE THE DATE FOR THE 2019 ANNUAL EVENTS September 25 Appleton Dinner October 18 Milwaukee Luncheon October 30 Madison Dinner


Page 2 Don Liebenthal: A Life Well-Served Page 3 Friends in New Places

Page 5 Safe Healthy Strong Conference 19-PPWI-SummerNewsletter-Draft-v8.indd 1

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Like the women of the past, we will persevere. Bravery abounds today as we navigate the current landscape impacting women and all people across a range of issues. Planned Parenthood supporters in Missouri willingly raised their hands to participate in acts of civil disobedience knowing they were facing potential arrests in order to stand-up for women’s access to safe and legal abortion care. Thank you.

Dear Friends, As I write this note, it’s Tuesday, June 4. I recognize by the time you’re reading this, we will be well into summer. It’s hard to imagine how much more the world may change for women’s reproductive health care in the next 30 – 60 days if the last few weeks and months are any indication. What I do know in this moment, and what we know from history, is the resiliency of women — no matter what. One hundred years ago today — after months and months of protesting, being physically and verbally assaulted, waves of arrests, and engaging in hunger strikes that resulted in violent force feedings — together, our brave and courageous sisters achieved the victory they never lost sight of, the ability for women to vote in the United States of America. Today 100 years ago on June 4, 1919 history was made as the passage of the 19th Amendment took place in Congress and then moved onto the states. (Fun fact: Wisconsin was the first state to ratify the 19th Amendment!) It would be another year plus until the Amendment’s addition into the United States Constitution on August 26, 1920. Even though women of color bravely and courageously advocated alongside white women, this victory was not a victory for all women. It would be another forty-five years until the Voting Rights Act of 1965 would be signed into law that removed racially unjust barriers like the use of literacy tests as a voting requirement for women and men of color. It is the fortitude of women across the decades who held true, strong, and brave to what they knew was right, that is serving as the momentum today to keep myself and the Planned Parenthood team moving forward during these tumultuous times. Yes, together, we have been through extremely difficult and challenging times in the past and we have prevailed. Yet, this moment in time feels particularly alarming as we see basic rights for women being assaulted from Alabama to Georgia to even our own state where we’re anticipating a slew of anti-women bills in the upcoming months.

Women like Sarah Noble who, for decades, continuously and tirelessly organizes and advocates for justice. Sarah and her brilliantly talented team at BeNoble Group recently organized a Civil Rights Bus Tour for myself and other white leaders to better understand how racist policies of yesteryear and today impact and harm communities of color for generations and decades. Thank you Sarah. Just yesterday I learned of a patient who had depended upon Planned Parenthood for Title X funds to cover her essential health care. (As you may recall PPWI was recently cut out of this grant providing preventive health care to more than 30,000 patients living in poverty. This loss represented $3.8 million in funds to PPWI used to provide essential prevention services.) Sierra, one of our amazing health care providers worked with this patient so she could still receive the care she needed. Thank you Sierra. While I wish I could look into the future and tell you exactly what it holds, I can assure you the time is now for each of us to step into our own moment of bravery and courage in whatever ways are safe for each of us. For some of us it may be putting an I Stand With Planned Parenthood sticker on your car. For others it may be wearing a Planned Parenthood t-shirt to your local farmer’s market or wearing an Abortion Defender button to a cocktail party. For others it may be acts of civil disobedience. Please know the entire team here at Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin is working tirelessly to protect women and families as is every other Planned Parenthood across the country. I will do my very best to keep you informed through timely email updates, calls, and social media as to the many ways there are and will be to be brave like our sister suffragettes and civil rights leaders. As I close this note, I share with you the question I’m asking myself every morning as I wake, “How brave will you be today, Tanya?” How brave will you be today? With deep gratitude and appreciation,

Follow Tanya on Facebook at Tanya Atkinson


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A LIFE WELL SERVED On January 17, 2019, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin lost a friend, colleague, advocate, and protector. Don Liebenthal, who faithfully served as PPWI’s Director of Security and Facilities, died peacefully surrounded by his family. Not only was Don beloved by his PPWI colleagues and the donors and supporters who knew him, he was cherished by Planned Parenthood affiliates across the country and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Don served as the go-to person for security issues throughout the national organization. The Global and National Safety Directors from Planned Parenthood Federation of America paid homage to Don and his expertise at a tree dedication service held in April at PPWI’s new Water Street Health Center. Don’s work was essential to the successful completion and opening of this new center. Planned Parenthoods everywhere are safer, healthier, and stronger because of Don’s commitment and expertise. Here’s to a life wellserved and well-lived. Safe home, dear friend.

WAYS TO BE BRAVE 1. Sign up for action alert emails to stay informed on events, issues, and ways to take meaningful action. Learn more at 2. Follow PPWI on social media and repost our content to your own social media feeds to help inform and influence your networks. 3. Host a house party or help host and organize a breakfast or luncheon at PPWI — it’s as simple as putting an invitation list together and the PPWI team is happy to help with all the details. Contact for more information. 4. Donate to Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin and encourage the people close to you who share your values to do the same. You can make your donation here: 5. Engage in conversations about reproductive rights with your friends and family members. Commit to having conversations with 3-5 people in your life about the threats to abortion and your support for PPWI.


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FRIENDS IN NEW PLACES While resignations are not generally celebrated, Planned Parenthood enthusiastically celebrated three of them! Two Planned Parenthood team members, Jamie Kuhn and Nicole Safar, alongside Planned Parenthood Board Nicole Safar, JD Member Tia Torhorst, all accepted positions within the Evers Administration earlier this year.

NS: Pay attention to who is coming behind you. Whether you are in high school, in the midst of your career, or in retirement; there is someone behind you who doesn’t have the same access to power and experience that you do. See them and support them — and make their path forward a little bit easier.

We are so proud of these extraordinary women and thank them for their service to Planned Parenthood while we celebrate their public service to our state.

NS: Call Your Girlfriend is one of my favorites — two best friends talking across the country about justice, politics, racism, culture, and how we can always make an impact on the community we want to live in.

Recently, in a rare brief moment in between her extra busy life in her new role, we asked Nicole Safar, JD, former Vice President of Public Affairs & Legal Advocacy, a few serious and fun questions: PPWI: What’s your new title? NS: Assistant Deputy Secretary, Department of Health Services. PPWI: What do you do in your new role? NS: I staff the Secretary designee Andrea Palm and run the leadership team at DHS [Department of Health and Human Services]. PPWI: What’s your best piece of advice to navigate these difficult times for women and families?

PPWI: Lake Mendota or Lake Monona? NS: Lake Monona. You can bike the circumference in 45 minutes and run it in less than 2 hours. It’s beautiful and changes every day. PPWI: Favorite podcast?

PPWI: Who is your favorite person you’re following on Instagram? NS: Misty Copeland, her talent and beauty are astounding. PPWI: What Wisconsin woman inspires you? NS: I’m inspired by all of the women who put their name on a ballot each election cycle — whether it be city council, state legislature, mayor, school board, United States Congress. Losing is hard; winning is even harder. It’s the women who take the risk to lay themselves and their beliefs out bare in public that are the bravest leaders. Congratulations again to Jamie, Nicole, and Tia. We look forward to talking with Jamie and Tia in the future and sharing their insights.

SENDING A MESSAGE In the face of nationwide abortion bans, Planned Parenthood has been encouraging Wisconsin to TAKE A STAND for women’s health care using all kinds of messengers and mediums over the last few months. An especially creative avenue for this involved taking advantage of the proximity of Planned Parenthood’s headquarters building to the Summerfest grounds: On opening day of the world’s largest musical festival, the building was transformed into a billboard with this important message for the hundreds of thousands of people who attended. 3

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BIRTH CONTROL BY MAIL In February of 2010, PPWI launched the Quarterly Contraceptive Kits program or QCK for short. The program provides the convenience of having birth control delivered to a patient’s home for an entire year rather than requiring a patient to visit their local Planned Parenthood on a monthly basis. Currently, the program is available at no cost to women who are enrolled in Badgercare, Medicaid, or the Family Planning Only Services program. Soon the program will expand to include patients who pay out-of-pocket for their birth control. Each quarterly kit contains three months of the birth control method deemed best for each patient whether that be pills, the contraceptive patch, or the Nuva Ring. Also included with each kit are two doses of Emergency Contraception and male condoms which provide dual protection for pregnancy and STDs. Now in its ninth year, PPWI is shipping 300-400 QCK kits per week via express mail through the U.S. Postal Service with more than 4,400 patients enrolled. With the use of text reminders, the program is able to ensure patients are receiving their birth control at their most current address. The QCK program alongside Planned Parenthood’s Spot On Period Tracker mobile app are fantastic examples of innovative ways we’re supporting women’s reproductive health care. You can learn more about QCK at The Spot On Period Tracker app is available for both Android and Apple and is free!

Quarterly Contraceptive Kits


of Wisconsin, Inc.

HERE’S SOME OF THE GREAT PATIENT FEEDBACK ABOUT THE PROGRAM: “I’ve always had such a good experience, it’s just what I need!” - Sarah “It’s so convenient and makes my life easier, I’m very grateful.” - Lily “QCK is so convenient! It’s the best not to have to go to the doctor every 3 months!” - Hannah “I’m thankful for QCK because it has helped me so much financially.” - Kristin “I like QCK. I like the way that there’s always condoms and emergency contraception.” - June


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Minister Denise Cawley on the intersection of spirituality, abortion, and chaplaincy. More information on the workshops can be found online at

PPWI’s award-winning education program, Embody, recently held its annual Safe Healthy Strong Conference. The conference is perhaps the largest bilingual professional development event in the field of reproductive and sexual health.

One of the most popular highlights during the conference was a panel discussion titled #ThisIsUs: A Multi-Spectrum Trans Panel which gave several teens and young adults the opportunity to discuss their experience with gender and becoming their true selves. The panel addressed their personal struggles with discrimination, harassment, bullying, and abuse. As allies and health care providers, the panel helped conference participants learn ways to better serve the trans community through inclusivity and sensitive conversations about sexual health and gender identity.

Now in its eighth year, the conference boasted 29 different workshops in English and Spanish, and attracted attendees across the U.S., including staff from several other Planned Parenthood affiliates. This year’s keynote speaker was Dr. Sara Flowers, the Vice President of Education at Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). The conference offered Continuing Education Credits in the fields of Social Work and Health Education, as well as a pre-conference intensive track about intersectional topics.


The Safe Healthy Strong Conference is made possible through the support of our generous donors.


The conference agenda included: PRE-CONFERENCE INTENSIVE Understanding Systems of Oppression and Our Role in Dismantling Them was presented by PPWI Board Member Kathy Flores, the Statewide LGBTQ AntiViolence Manager for Diverse and Resilient. Flores spoke to the group about forms of privilege and oppression, as well as how to move from being a bystander to an “upstander” for marginalized people. Mental Health Topics in Sexual and Reproductive Health was presented by PPWI Board Member Dr. Wayne Bentham, MD, a practicing internist and psychiatrist, as well as a former Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Services at the Washington School of Medicine. His presentation addressed psychological screening and management in a primary care setting, trauma-informed care, and recognizing possible post-traumatic stress disorder and associated depression. WORKSHOPS Among the extensive range of workshop topics were several sessions that addressed racial disparities and implicit bias in health care, as well as others on body image, sexual violence, contraceptive equity, and many more. There were a number of discussions centered on faith and reproductive health, including one presented by PPWI’s Volunteer Chaplain,

Members of the #ThisIsMe Multi-Spectrum Trans Panel


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PPWI Board Members and Pre-Conference Presenters, Kathy Flores and Dr. Wayne Bentham, MD

Natalia Hildner of the Dane County Rape Crisis Center during her workshop: Multiple Rape Cultures: From Colonialism to Capitalism

Conference participants were asked to add pronoun ribbons to their name badges to help make the conference more gender inclusive.

In the evening, participants were invited to a lively networking event, Sex Ed Trivia. Samatha Lustek (L) and Katrina Morrison (R). SUMMER 2019

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© 2019 Planned Parenthood® of Wisconsin, Inc. 302 North Jackson Street Milwaukee, WI 53202

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