But the team that I brought in, experts in public health and health policy, faced daily internal opposition from those who saw my goals as mission creep. There was even more criticism as we worked to change the perception that Planned Parenthood was just a progressive political entity and show that it was first and foremost a mainstream health care organization.
Perhaps the greatest area of tension was over our work to be inclusive of those with nuanced views about abortion. I reached out to people who wrestle with abortion’s moral complexities, but who will speak out against government interference in personal medical decisions. I engaged those who identify as being pro-life, but who support safe, legal abortion access because they don’t want women to die from back-alley abortions. I even worked with people who oppose abortion but support Planned Parenthood because of the preventive services we provide — we share the desire to reduce the need for abortion through sex education and birth control.