Standing Together Fall 2023

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STANDING TOGETHER News For Friends And Champions

What’s Inside: A Message for this Moment from Tanya Atkinson — with a special PPWI playlist Giving Care with LOVE — Reproductive health care with compassion Back-2-School Bash! — PPWI’s Northwest Community Center hosts neighborhood event Meet Tia Renier — An empathetic approach to advocacy Important Wisconsin Abortion Update

About the Cover: Typography is a signal not just a way to put letters on a page. ~ Seth Godin A play on Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE artwork, this cover features the third in a series of art to contemplate the many facets of CARE.

Fall 2023


Love: A Beacon of Care and Generosity Despite this temporary access setback, and as the beauty of fall graces our surroundings, together we gather with hearts full of gratitude and a deep sense of purpose. In this season of change, we are reminded of the power of love — a force that lies at the heart of Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin’s mission. Today, we come together to celebrate the profound impact of love and its ability to inspire care and giving. Dear incredible friends,

Care • Give • Love Each of these words have now graced the covers of our 2023 newsletters. Singularly these words are powerful. Together they create an inspiring mantra reflective of Planned Parenthood’s mission and commitment to reproductive health care. I cannot imagine a better way to wrap up this year’s newsletters than by reflecting on each of you. During a year when access to the full range of reproductive health care was not legally possible, you all have made LOVE possible through your caring and giving hearts.


“All You Need is Love,” a timeless message echoed by the Beatles, resonates deeply as we reflect on our journey together. This sentiment encapsulates the very essence of our work — extending care, offering support, and enriching lives through the bonds of love.

A Legacy of Compassion Within this incredible community of heart-centered individuals, I am honored to share the story of an exceptional donor whose life exemplifies the true spirit of love and compassion. At an incredible 90 years of age, her connection to Planned Parenthood stretches across generations, rooted in a legacy of giving that has touched countless lives.


Her mother, a dedicated advocate for women’s health and Planned Parenthood volunteer in the early 1930s, devoted herself to assisting women in accessing diaphragms — a simple yet transformative form of contraception. Priced at just twenty-five cents, these diaphragms were more than a barrier; they symbolized hope, empowerment, and a brighter future. One poignant memory shared by her mother resonates deeply — a tale of a young bride who was given a quarter by her own mother to be fitted for a diaphragm. It was an act of profound love, embodying a desire for a better life, free from the struggles her mother had faced — a life with more choices, fewer hardships, and choosing the number of children to bring into the world.

A Tapestry of Giving This narrative illustrates the profound impact one act of love, one gesture of care, can have on shaping lives for the better. It highlights that love transcends time and circumstance, flowing through generations as a potent force for good. In the spirit of “All You Need Is Love,” let us carry forward this legacy of compassion and generosity. Every generous gift given, every moment of volunteerism, every instance of standing with those in need – each of these is a thread in the tapestry of love we weave together.

Nurturing Love Through Giving As we step into a new season, let’s reflect on the legacy of love that has illuminated our path. Let’s draw inspiration from the incredible stories that have woven our journey. Each one of us holds the power to embody the spirit of love through our giving and caring. In this season of reflection and gratitude, the entire team and I extend our heartfelt appreciation to you. Your steadfast support enables Planned Parenthood to continue its mission, ensuring that the flame of love burns brightly, enriching lives and shaping destinies. With boundless gratitude and a heart full of love,

A PPWI Playlist: A big thank you to artist and PPWI’s wonderful friend DJ DRiPSweat for her interpretation of Care. Give. Love. through music. DRiPSweat’s mix of artists’ voices is the invitation to be loving, brave, and courageous. As a little extra dose of love, DRiPSweat lifts the voices of Wisconsin artists: former PPWI board member Sarah Fierek, Tiffany Miller Bloom, Kase, and B-Free. Take a listen and be inspired!

Wisconsin artist DRiPSweat grew up as a student of performing and visual arts, naturally leading to an path of full-time artist, musician, and DJ. Favorite genres include hip-hop, R&B, funk, house, disco, afrobeats and world music. Social links:

@djdripsweat: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Snapchat @djdripsweat: Twitch, Soundcloud, Mixcloud All You Need Is Love —The Beatles We Need You —Cleo Sol Power —Baby Rose

Empower Me —Tahuna Breaks GOOD DAY —Theo Croker, Ego Ella May, D’LEAU Give a Little Bit —Supertramp Wildflowers —Sarah Fierek One Love —Cleo Sol Heart —SAULT

Hey Mami —Sylvan Esso God —Deochii

It’s Okay —LION BABE, OSHUN I NEED YOU —Jon Batiste

Give Love to your Children —Musi-O-Tunya Free Mind —Tems

Love is...(intro) —B-Free Love (The Muse) live —Kase, Tiffany Miller

Tanya Atkinson, President & CEO Follow Tanya Atkinson on Facebook and LinkedIn

Listen on Spotify:

Giving Care with LOVE Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin’s (PPWI) full list of health care services can come as a surprise to many people — extending far beyond birth control, STD testing and treatment, urinary tract infections, and abortionrelated services. What sets Planned Parenthood apart is a commitment to providing these services with compassion and love.

Preventive Care: Vasectomies, HIV testing, access to emergency contraception, and wellness exams, along with crucial screenings for breast and cervical cancers with follow-up care, underscore PPWI’s dedication to promoting early detection and preventive measures. Compassionate Care: Pregnancy tests with medically accurate options counseling, Ob-Gyn referrals, abortion care, miscarriage management, and post-partum services provide individuals with compassionate and non-judgmental support during some of life’s most vulnerable moments. Accessible Care: PPWI prioritizes accessible reproductive health care at 22 health centers, along with convenient virtual telehealth appointments. Quarterly Contraceptive Kits (QCK) are available by mail, and the PP Direct mobile app — available for Apple and Android — provides birth control and UTI Care. A Commitment to Health Equity: Our commitment to health equity aims to recognize and respect

the identities and needs of diverse communities. PPWI’s gender affirming hormone therapy is just one way we support individuals on their personal journeys of self-discovery, self-expression, and self-determination.

Atendiendo con AMOR La lista completa de servicios de atención médica de Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin (PPWI) puede sorprender a muchas personas, ya que va mucho más allá de métodos anticonceptivos, enfermedades de transmisión sexual (ETS), infecciones urinarias y servicios relacionados con el aborto. Lo que distingue a Planned Parenthood es el compromiso de brindar estos servicios con compasión y amor.

Atención médica preventiva

Las vasectomías, las pruebas de VIH, el acceso a la anticoncepción de emergencia y los exámenes de bienestar, junto con las pruebas cruciales de detección de cáncer de mama y de cuello uterino con atención de seguimiento, ponen de relieve la dedicación de PPWI a la promoción de la detección precoz y las medidas preventivas.

Atención compasiva

Pruebas de embarazo con opciones de asesoramiento médicamente precisas, derivaciones de obstetras y ginecólogos, atención médica de abortos, gestión de abortos espontáneos y servicios posparto brindan a las personas apoyo compasivo y sin prejuicios durante algunos de los momentos más vulnerables de la vida.

Atención accesible

PPWI da prioridad a la atención médica accesible de la salud reproductiva en 22 centros de salud, junto con cómodas citas virtuales de telesalud. Los kits anticonceptivos trimestrales (QCK, por sus siglas en inglés) están disponibles por correo, y la aplicación móvil PP Direct — disponible para Apple y Android- ofrece métodos anticonceptivos y atención de infecciones urinarias en la puerta del paciente.

Un compromiso con la equidad en la salud El compromiso de PPWI con la equidad sanitaria pretende reconocer y respetar las identidades y necesidades de las comunidades diversas. La administración de terapia hormonal de afirmación de género es solo una de las formas en que PPWI apoya a las personas en sus caminos personales de autodescubrimiento, autoexpresión y autodeterminación.

PPWI’s Northwest Community Center Hosts Back-2-School Bash PPWI’s Northwest Community Center (adjacent to the Northwest Health Center in Milwaukee) and the Community Relations team hosted a Back-2-School Bash this August. The event drew more than 400 people from the center’s surrounding neighborhood for a day of fun family activities. At the heart of the event was the distribution of 200+ backpacks, brimming with school supplies for students across different grade levels. The event is an example of PPWI’s strategic focus on providing service through a “Community Centric” approach and underscores holistic well-being that goes beyond health care. Visitors to PPWI’s Community Center learned about other programs and resources from several of PPWI’s community partners, including Familia Dental, CHORUS Community Health Plan, and many others. Rapid STD testing was also made available, helping to show that regular STD testing and treatment is a normal part of staying healthy. Education’s Promotores de Salud (Health Promoters) were there to support the event, offering information about reproductive health and education in Spanish and English — while many other staff members volunteered, helping with carnival games, entertainment, and food. PPWI is grateful to the many community partners, donors, and volunteers who made this event possible.

Center: Heading back to school with a brand new backpack is a reason to celebrate! Below: PPWI’s staff and volunteers made the day a huge success.

Above: (Top) Molly Lancelot from PPWI’s Education Team helps a student choose just the right backpack. (Bottom) Kids at the event could choose from a variety of fun, free activities. At Left: Facepainting was among the popular activities for kids of all ages at the Back-2-School Bash. Below: The Milwaukee Fire Deparment brought the Survive Alive House to teach kids about fire safety.

Photo Credit: Max McGrath Photography

At Right: Teen representatives from PATCH which offers peer-topeer health education.

Meet Tia Renier ~Creating Conversations: Advocacy with Empathy Tia Renier is PPWI’s Advocacy and Outreach Project Manager, and a dedicated advocate for reproductive freedom. A key part of her role is leading a unique approach to advocacy, one that focuses on empathy and meaningful conversations.

“In social work I often met people on their worst day. I also saw first-hand the importance of having bodily autonomy along with education about your body and your health — and how not having that can dramatically shift the course of someone’s life.”

The Art of Conversation

This understanding underscores her dedication to advocating for reproductive freedom, where individuals have the right to make decisions about their bodies and health.

Most days (and many evenings) you will find Tia teaching people how the art of conversation differs from engaging in debates — especially on sensitive topics like abortion. This unique approach to advocacy is rooted in applied psychology and successfully fosters authentic personal interactions to promote understanding and connection — rather than trying to “win” an argument. While more traditional advocacy often frames engagement as confrontational, Tia emphasizes, “PPWI’s approach to advocacy focuses on checking our own assumptions, and engaging people with empathy — to better understand their values and how they see an issue.”

Finding Common Ground “We work on finding common ground because there’s more there than we typically think. We also lean into hearing and acknowledging people’s conflicted feelings. And while we try to meet people where they’re at with their values, that doesn’t mean we have to abandon our own to be able to find a connection,” Tia remarked.

Empathic Communication Tia’s background in social work helped to shape her commitment to using empathy in her work.

Personal Reflection and Experiences In her training workshops, Tia shares her experience of having challenging conversations in her personal life — such as with family members who can be conflicted on abortion. She likes to reflect on situations where she wished she had practiced this approach more effectively by focusing on the importance of curiosity, empathy, and compassion in these difficult conversations. “Much of my family has strong religious beliefs and feel a kind of unease when talking about reproductive freedom and abortion. I also have many family members who can hold tension around that. They’re able to see reproductive freedom as important, and still lean into their faith values. “I often share a story about being out to dinner with my mom, aunt, and grandmother and getting a question about my work. When I was met with some resistance, I was triggered. I went back to a fight, flight, or freeze space. I got sassy with my grandmother! That’s a really hard moment to look back on and realize I wasn’t considering

Tia Renier (she/her) is dedicated to building healthier, more connected communities and working towards better health outcomes for women and families. Her path started with a degree in Social Work, focusing on child welfare and youth success. She now leads the applied psychology advocacy training program; training staff, volunteers, and partner organizations to build stronger advocates for the organization. In this role she teaches everyone from college students to faith leaders how to meet people where they’re at on emotionally complex issues. When she’s not training, she enjoys days spent hiking in nature, rock climbing, and volunteering as a court appointed advocate for children impacted by the child welfare system.

the different values and personal experiences of people who I care deeply about. “What I took away from that dinner was the importance of acknowledging other people’s lived experiences. What I missed in that conversation is that, while my grandmother may never fully approve of my work, both my mom and aunt can hold the tension between valuing the children they have, the difficulties they faced with their own parenting journeys, and wanting other people to have the option to make their own decisions about pregnancy, health care, and abortion.”

Holding a “Tension of Opposites” This ability to hold the tension between opposing viewpoints — such as faith values and supporting reproductive freedom — is something Tia sees as an intricate web of values, experiences, and emotions that holistically inform people’s views. Her personal experience underscores the importance of being curious and seeking out the richness of individual perspectives. Seeing how this approach can help bring people together has strengthened Tia’s commitment to an empathetic approach to advocacy. This approach also helped her to be clear on her own values — now helping others to embrace selfreflection as a necessary practice to help change hearts and minds — and work towards a world where everyone’s rights are respected and valued.

Scan this code for the full interview with Tia.

Tia’s Top 5 Tips ... for talking with your network about sensitive subjects, like abortion and reproductive freedom. Focus On the Conversation Going Well: Rather than trying to win someone over, I aim to keep the dialogue open and have a second conversation. Stay Curious: Genuinely seek to understand the other person’s perspective. Empathy and understanding are key to effective advocacy. Conflict is Okay: Acknowledging and addressing conflicting feelings offers an opportunity to open doors and build connections, rather than drawing a hard line in the sand. Listen for Common Ground: For example, you feel far apart with someone on an issue like LGBTQ rights — and yet you have shared values about having a family. Or you have differing views on abortion but value the freedom to make your own personal decisions. Practice. Practice. Practice: This is absolutely an ongoing practice that helps you to understand yourself. Using an empathetic approach to advocacy requires ongoing effort.

If you are interested in attending or hosting an event to learn more about this unique approach to advocacy, email

PPWI Resumes Abortion Care in Wisconsin While this newsletter was being prepared for print, Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin announced it would resume abortion care in the state. As of September 18, abortion care was re-established in Milwaukee at the Water Street Health Center and in Madison, at Madison East. This decision was made in consultation with attorneys, physicians, partners, and stakeholders who together helped determine a path forward to resuming services.

449 Days without Access The US Supreme Court decision to overturn Roe v. Wade in June of 2022 removed the federal constitutional right to abortion, forcing providers in Wisconsin to suspend abortion services due to uncertainty surrounding the enforceability of an 1849 law. Since that decision, state and national leaders have been working tirelessly to find a legal path to resume abortion services in Wisconsin.

statute 940.04 applies to feticide, and does not prohibit elective medical abortions. This decision provided Planned Parenthood with the legal basis needed to resume the full scope of health services, including abortion care..

Extraordinary Love Emerges During this incredibly challenging year, an extraordinary outpouring of support — and love — emerged. From PPWI’s clinicians and abortion services staff, who travelled to Illinois to care for Wisconsin patients to patient navigators who were there to listen and to help with financial and travel assistance — from the family and friends of patients who stepped up to help a loved one to the many supporters and volunteers who have contacted Planned Parenthood asking, “How can I help? What is most needed?” — People have been coming together to offer their heartfelt compassion and LOVE.

This was devastating for patients in Wisconsin, who have had to travel out of state to seek care for more than a year. Added costs due to travel and transportation, childcare, and time off work could significantly increase the financial burden of seeking care — doubling or even tripling the cost of accessing an abortion — upwards of $1,500. To put this into perspective, consider that 40% of US families could not incur a $400 expense without going into debt.* Even with patient navigators to provide support, financial assistance, and resources, many patients were unable to overcome the financial, emotional, and logistical challenges to travel out of state.

A Mission of Love

Wisconsin Attorney General’s Challenge to Law Moves Forward

For nearly 90 years, in 22 health centers across the state, PPWI’s doors have remained open to ensure everyone has access to the health care they need — no matter what. Planned Parenthood is grateful to the many supporters who stand together in support of essential reproductive care in their communities.

In July of 2023, the Dane County Circuit Court ruled that a lawsuit challenging the enforceability of Wisconsin’s 1849 abortion ban could move forward. This legal challenge was brought by Wisconsin Attorney General Josh Kaul, who argued that the archaic 19th century law conflicted with a newer law from 1985 permitting abortion up to 20 weeks. Other plaintiffs in the case include three physicians, the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services, and the Wisconsin Medical Examining Board. In its ruling, the court stated that Wisconsin has no 1849 criminal abortion ban, and that Wisconsin

When the announcement to resume abortion care was made, it was an emotional day for all of PPWI and the abortion services team, who understand how incredibly important and live-saving their work is for patients. There was little time, however, to process the news — knowing they had patients on waitlists for out-of-state care. Centering these patients, the abortion services team began immediately reaching out with the good news that PPWI could provide their care closer to home.

We. Will. Not. Back. Down.

Planned Parenthood believes abortion is a private medical decision belonging to the pregnant person and their medical provider. This is not over. Providing compassionate abortion care is an act of love. PPWI will continue our work to protect and expand access to this essential and necessary care. We will not back down. Not now, not ever.

*Source: UW CORE Collaborative For Reproductive Equity, UW School of Medicine and Public Health, April 2023

Abortion Access Update insert - announcement.indd 1

9/20/23 10:11 AM

One of the most important ways you can support PPWI’s mission of care is to become a patient! Birth control, pap smears, breast cancer screening, STD testing and treatment, urinary care, HPV vaccine, vasectomy — and so much more. We accept most major insurers and offer convenient telehealth appointments — often within 72 hours. Scan to see the full list of services, or to make an appointment.

Care. No matter what.

A Convenient Way to Support PPWI’s Work: Save paper and save the stamp by making your gift online at This is a secure payment site where you can make single or monthly donations. Donations can be made using a credit or debit card, as well as via PayPal or Venmo. Visit or scan this code to donate via your mobile device.

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