Standing Together September 2022

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News For Friends And Champions

Fall 2022

What’s Inside:

A Message for this Moment from Tanya Atkinson

Abortion Access in Wisconsin Community Centric’s Summer Adventure

About the Cover:

Detail image of A Turning Point donor appreciation piece from The Compass Rose Project by Artist Niki Johnson. Following images from Johnson’s installation of The Compass Rose Project at Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin’s Water Street Health Center seen in this issue include Rising Path in poppy, Crosswinds in flax, and Many Roads in bluebell.

Artwork Photo Credit: © 2022 Niki Johnson Studio.

Dear amazing, wonderful friends, Way finding — it’s what we do, it’s what we’ve always done.

It’s what you as a magnificent collective, who care deeply about reproductive freedoms and the mission of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, have been doing for nearly 100 years. We find our way through triumphs, setbacks, and the unimaginable. Each time, gaining strength, building our resolve, and reaffirming our belief that all people, regardless of income, zip code, immigration status, or sexual orientation, deserve access to essential health care including abortion care – no matter what.

Way Finding Together

The way finding our collective ascribes to is the kind in which we are continually looking well past the horizon to see what is barely perceptible. And we do not find our way alone as we navigate through triumphs, setbacks, and the unimaginable. Our planning is collaborative, done in concert with local partners, advocates, supporters, and other providers of care in Wisconsin, neighboring states, and nationally. It is this consistent and persistent decadeslong planning now meeting this unimaginable moment when the Supreme Court has overturned Roe, triggering a pre-Civil War law that, if enforceable, makes abortion illegal in our state.

While the way finding and planning required — by caring so deeply about the mission — may feel especially heavy, difficult, and energetically depleting, I am grateful for the dedication of our staff and supporters, and it gives me hope. I want that feeling of hope for you, too. Believe me, these last weeks and months have been emotional. I know we will continue to have many

more difficult days because real people’s lives are at risk; the people whom we love and for whom we care for deeply — our family, our friends, our neighbors.

Way Finding Action

Anticipating the Supreme Court would make their ruling on Monday, June 27, abortion care was scheduled through the end of day Saturday, June 25. When the Supreme Court instead announced their decision to overturn Roe on the morning of Friday, June 24, potentially triggering our state’s 173-year-old criminal abortion ban, 70 people were scheduled for abortions at Planned Parenthood health centers. Those 70 incredible people with plans, hopes, and dreams for the future — the kinds of hopes and dreams we all have — immediately lost their personal sovereignty to end their pregnancy.

As incomprehensible as the moment was, the PPWI team went into immediate action making sure everyone had information and guidance to help them find their way and access the care they wanted outside of their home state. That is the power of a plan — the ability to find a way through the unimaginable.

Way Finding Innovation

Since the decision, PPWI’s dedicated Patient Navigators have helped scores of our family, friends, and neighbors in communities across the state access care and the necessary financial support to travel across state lines. In anticipation of Roe being overturned, PPWI formed a partnership with its sister affiliate at Planned Parenthood of Illinois to expand access to abortion for those traveling across state lines for needed health care.

Today more than a dozen PPWI staff now travel to Planned Parenthood of Illinois’s Waukegan health center to provide abortion care, doubling the capacity for abortion services to meet the surge of patient demand. This is the first such partnership of Planned Parenthood affiliates in the country on this scale and a meaningful way for the PPWI patient services team to make a difference for patients in search of abortion care. Simultaneously, all legal options are being explored to fight this criminal ban on abortion.

As we navigate this new landscape, please know Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin’s doors remain

open. Say it with me, “Planned Parenthood’s doors are open!” PPWI continues to provide services like birth control, STD education, testing and treatment, cancer screenings, gender affirming care, polyp removal, and post-partum care.

The newest health center, built several years ago in southeastern Wisconsin as an intended anchor of abortion care in our state, is now anchoring the work in a new way. Patients are now accessing pregnancy assessment services to help streamline access to abortion care across state lines along with post-abortion care for patients who have concerns when they come home — all free of charge because of you, our generous donors.

During this time of potential confusion for patients regarding the abortion ban, PPWI continues to be a safe and welcoming place to provide people with miscarriage management and early pregnancy complication support. As a state-of-the-art health care facility, the Water Street health center provides the opportunity to expand reproductive health care services until the time when

abortion care is once again able to be provided in our state.

Way Finding Hope

It seems only fitting in the months leading up to the Supreme Court’s decision, artist Niki Johnson’s innovative donor recognition called The Compass Rose Project was installed on the walls of the Water Street health center. By both name and design, The Compass Rose Project is its own kind of way finding — a symbolic beacon of hope, navigating patients to safe harbors of care. This Compass Rose, which graces the cover of this newsletter, is the reminder that amidst the triumphs, setbacks, and the unimaginable, Planned Parenthood is always a way finder of care, hope, and support – no matter what.

Thank you for your love, dedication, and constant way finding,

Follow Tanya Atkinson on Facebook and LinkedIn

Compassionate Abortion Care

“I went to Planned Parenthood for an abortion, when I was 19 years old. I just got over having the hardest experience of my life. I had a baby when I was 18, and I honestly do not know how I made it out alive. I went through loneliness, hardship, and heartbreaking events. There were days I just wanted to be done, done with everything in life. I was not mature, or ready to bring a baby into this world. But I did. I got my life together for my son.

“I was a single mom with an abusive man. Only to find out I was pregnant again. I’ll never forget the day I went to the Planned Parenthood. I knew that if I didn’t make this decision, I wouldn’t be here today.

“I sat in the chair with a whirlwind of emotions. No one understands the feeling of sitting in the waiting room, and going through all these thoughts in your head. I sat with the nurse, I opened up to her about why I was making this decision. I had the utmost support from Planned Parenthood through the whole experience.

“Not a day goes by that I don’t think about the “what-ifs”, but those “what-ifs” are why I am here — raising my son to the best I can possibly do. If it weren’t for Planned Parenthood, I’m not sure I would be here today. I stand with Planned Parenthood, and any woman who has to make the decisions they need to survive.” - Name withheld for privacy

Do you have a Planned Parenthood story you would like to share? Visit

Decision Day & Beyond: Built For This

“Decision Day” June 24, 2022 was more than historic — it was tragic. On this day, the US Supreme Court overturned Roe v Wade, effectively stripping away a constitutionally protected right from roughly half of Americans.

The decision turned abortion laws over to the states — taking away an individual’s freedom to make a personal private medical decision and handing that decision over to politicians. To date,15 states including Wisconsin have abortion bans in place and 18 states are in active litigation about bans post decision. According to the Guttmacher Institute, in the month following the fall of Roe 43 clinics in 11 states had stopped providing abortion care.

The effect of this decision was immediately felt in Wisconsin, as PPWI suspended abortion services until there is legal clarity as to whether an 1849 abortion ban is enforceable.

This is not over. PPWI is exploring all legal options and we will not stop fighting until abortion is again legal in Wisconsin.

Built for This Moment

In recent years, while several cases designed to test the validity of Roe were working their way to the Supreme Court, PPWI, along with Planned Parenthood Federation (PPFA), was creating an action plan should Roe fall. When Decision Day came, PPWI was ready and rolled into action helping patients find care in other states.

Collaboration and Expanded Access

Together, PPWI and Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL) formed an innovative partnership. The partnership between PPWI and PPIL resulted in

Wisconsin staff, traveling to the Waukegan Health Center, doubling its capacity for abortion care — and helping PPIL provide care to abortion patients from other states. Shared staff from Wisconsin have also helped PPIL to expand family planning services across Illinois through telehealth, shoring up preventative care, as PPIL serves an influx of patients from across the country.

Added Support for Wisconsin Patients

PPWI is committed to supporting patients in Wisconsin and has launched a number of initiatives to assist those needing abortion care:

Abortion Patient Navigators: Navigators from both PPWI and PPIL affiliates work closely to get patients timely care, as well as provide financial resources when needed.

Make-a-Plan Kits: Kits including condoms, emergency contraception, and a pregnancy test are being given to patients free of charge.

Wisconsin Abortion Resources Outreach: PPWI immediately published a web page providing guidance for people in Wisconsin looking for abortion care. Cards and flyers with this information are being widely distributed.

New Free Services: PPWI added pregnancy assessment and ultrasound dating appointments to help patients better understand their options for care out of state. PPWI is also a safe space for confidential and free abortion follow-up care whether someone traveled out of state or chose to self-manage an abortion.

If you or someone you know needs abortion care, visit:

Frequently Asked: Governor Evers said he will pardon providers and Attorney General Kaul won’t prosecute — Why has PPWI suspended abortion services?

It is commendable that Gov Evers and AG Kaul are standing up for reproductive freedom; the reality is that continuing abortion services puts PPWI clinicians and staff at risk for being charged with a felony. There is a 6-year statute of limitations on felonies in Wisconsin. That means — even if someone doesn’t prosecute a provider now — a district attorney‘s office would have six years to prosecute.

In addition, some county DA’s have already indicated their intention to prosecute providers. PPWI must consider the safety and collateral consequences of criminal charges on medical licenses, staff’s lives, and the mission.

PPWI’s Abortion Patient Navigators

PPWI anticipated the fall of Roe v Wade would create confusion, anxiety, and added trauma for people seeking abortion care. In Wisconsin, there were already a number of barriers due to medically unnecessary restrictions. Without the protection of Roe, patients are burdened with even more concerns — some having few options for support. Abortions are time sensitive, and patients — many with limited resources — are now forced to travel out of state and may have to wait longer for their procedure.

A New Frontline for Abortion Care

PPWI already had patient navigators for other patient services like Family Planning and Gender Affirming Care. To assist abortion patients, PPWI shifted a number of abortion services staff to become Abortion Patient Navigators — like Zoie who is on the frontline, hearing first-hand from patients trying to cope:

“The two most common barriers are probably transportation to appointments out of state, as well as finding childcare during those times. People are having to travel long distances to access the care that they need. That means finding a way to get there when they have almost no money, usually no vehicle, and minimal support. Sometimes patients must travel while extremely sick which further complicates their situation.

“For me, the most challenging part is having to tell folks — while they’re experiencing one of the most stressful times — that they must take time off of work and travel out of the state for up to three appointments. This is just to receive care that should be accessible everywhere. An already stressful situation gets multiplied many times over. And while I have the tools to help them get the care they need, that doesn’t take away the added anxiety these patients feel.” ~ Zoie

Through generous donations from PPWI supporters, Patient Navigators like Zoie are able to offer critically needed financial support for travel, abortion care, and other associated needs. If you would like to help patients in Wisconsin seek abortions in other states, please consider donating at

“We will never stop fighting! We will always be here to help those who need it — however we can. Our doors are open, and they will stay that way.” ~ Zoie

Frequently Asked: Can I help drive patients or donate gas cards?

PPWI is not organizing drivers for patients; we are working to ensure patients get resources to manage their abortion care in ways that make sense to them — so patients feel empowered and safe. We are also unable to take in-kind donations like gas cards. Sometimes it may feel less personal to make a donation; however, direct funds allow PPWI to get help to patients in the way they need it.

To learn more about how you can help Wisconsin patients access abortion care in other states, scan this code, or visit:

With four teammates, four days, five health centers, and five partner organizations, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin’s Community Relations Team embarked on this summer’s

Neenah, InCourage and the County Health Department in Manitowoc, House of Hope in Green Bay, and United Way in Sheboygan. Rounding out the Northeast tour was a meeting with Ale Guevara, who serves on the boards of both PPWI and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She offered her sage guidance and steadfast support for the newly expanded team and PPWI’s Community Centric initiative.

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (PPWI) has been working to reimagine the possibilities for our work based on a Community Centric approach — creating a local lens for everything we do. Communities are at the heart of this work, which brings together PPWI’s staff, supporters, patients, and community partners to address health inequities, work to increase access, and better understand PPWI’s place in local ecosystems of care.

The Northeastern Road Trip

This summer, the team set out for Northeastern Wisconsin. Oshkosh and Appleton staff shared stories of compassionate care; Manitowoc spoke to the bond they share in putting patients first. And Green Bay’s “Packer-style” dynamic energy creates an enviroment of optimism. With each visit the Community Relations team began to “think locally” — tapping into the unique qualities of each center to help PPWI enhance care and programming in new and meaningful ways.

To deepen local ties, the team also met with partnering organizations that provide traumainformed care, including Reach Counseling in

Aligned Goals

After a whirlwind of conversations, one thing became clear — supporters, community partners, patients, leaders, and health center staff are aligned in their goals: creating more resources for clients and patients; improving health outcomes; and helping communities to become safe, healthy, and strong for everyone.

Innovative work is never easy; however, PPWI’s commitment to advancing sexual and reproductive health care across the state — especially in this moment — is unwavering. Together, in community with supporters and partners, PPWI has laid a solid foundation for this work. We were built for this.

Alyson: Director of Community Relations More than 20 years in community outreach La directora de relaciones comunitarias Más de 20 años de alcance y participación comunitaria Tarah: More than 15 years health center patient service experience Más de quince años atendiendo a pacientes de centros de salud
Centric: This
Big Action Adventure! Expanding Our Team, Deepening Our Connections in Northeast Wisconsin PPWI’s Community Relations Dream Team Expertise, Insight, Experience

Centrado en la Comunidad:

¡La Gran Aventura de Acción de este Verano!

Ampliando nuestro equipo, profundizando nuestras conexiones en el noreste de Wisconsin

Con cuatro compañeros de equipo, cuatro días, cinco centros de salud y cinco organizaciones asociadas, el Equipo de relaciones comunitarias de Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin se embarcó en la gran aventura de acción de este verano en el noreste de Wisconsin.

Reimaginando las posibilidades

Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (PPWI) ha estado trabajando para reimaginar las posibilidades de nuestro trabajo basándose en un enfoque centrado en la comunidad, creando un lente local para todo lo que hacemos. Las comunidades están en el centro de este trabajo, que reúne al personal de PPWI, a los partidarios, a los pacientes y a los socios de la comunidad para abordar las desigualdades en materia de salud, aumentar el acceso y comprender mejor el lugar de PPWI en los ecosistemas locales de atención médica.

El viaje por el noreste

Este verano, el equipo partió hacia el noreste de Wisconsin. El personal de Oshkosh y Appleton compartió historias de atención médica compasiva; Manitowoc habló del vínculo que comparten al poner a los pacientes en primer lugar. Y la energía dinámica “estilo Packer” de Green Bay crea un ambiente de esperanza. Con cada visita, el Equipo de relaciones comunitarias comenzó a “pensar localmente”, aprovechando las cualidades únicas de cada centro para ayudar a

El equipo ideal de relaciones comunitarias de PPWI

La Experiencia de los Expertos


Scarlette: Most recently worked with BeLeaf, serving sexual assault survivors. Recientemente sirviendo a los sobrevivientes de agresión sexual en BeLeaf Survivors, Inc.

PPWI a mejorar la atención y la programación de formas nuevas y significativas.

Para profundizar los lazos locales, el equipo también se reunió con organizaciones asociadas que proporcionan atención médica informada sobre el trauma, como Reach Counseling en Neenah, InCourage y el Departamento de Salud del Condado en Manitowoc, House of Hope en Green Bay y United Way en Sheboygan.

La gira por el noreste se completó con una reunión con Ale Guevara, que forma parte de las juntas directivas de PPWI y Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Ella ofreció su sabia orientación y su firme apoyo al equipo recién ampliado y a la iniciativa Community Centric (centrado en la comunidad) de PPWI.

Objetivos alineados

Después de un torbellino de conversaciones, una cosa quedó clara: los partidarios, los socios de la comunidad, los pacientes, los líderes y el personal de los centros de salud están alineados en sus objetivos: crear más recursos para los clientes y los pacientes, mejorar los resultados de salud y ayudar a las comunidades a ser seguras, saludables y fuertes para todos.

El trabajo innovador nunca es fácil; sin embargo, el compromiso de PPWI para avanzar en la atención médica de la salud sexual y reproductiva en todo el estado - especialmente en este momentoes inquebrantable. Juntos, en comunidad con partidarios y socios, PPWI ha establecido una base sólida para este trabajo. Fuimos hechos para esto.

More than 20 years experience in sexual and reproductive health education. Más de tres décadas de experiencia en educación de la salud sexual y reproductiva

Power 2 Determine Highlight

Power 2 Determine (P2D) is a statewide program that empowers and educates teens and young adults about sex, pregnancy, STDs, contraception, healthy relationships, and LGBTQIA+ inclusivity. Led by Maricel and the education team at PPWI, these youth ambassadors ages 15 to 21 provide age-appropriate, accurate information to their peers through social media posts, school presentations, volunteering, and community events.

The name, Power 2 Determine, comes from the ambassadors’ desire to see people make educated decisions on what to do with their bodies, of their own free will. “I want to empower the people around me to take care of their sexual health,” said a P2D ambassador. By offering information on the options and choices people can make regarding their sexual health, the group is providing the power that people need to determine the best course of action for themselves.

To reduce economic barriers and encourage equitable access to this program, PPWI provides stipends to all participants. Ambassadors attend conferences on sexual health and join facilitated monthly meetings to learn and plan together. P2D ambassadors gain communication, public speaking, and leadership skills. When asked why they enjoyed the program, one P2D ambassador responded, “I like P2D so much because it’s a safe space for me to express my outgoing personality in a way to educate and care for my community.” Speaking about his fellow ambassadors, he adds, “They’re making waves, they’re making conversations.”

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