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First Person: A conversation with Linda Williams

Lisa Van Dusen interviews president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte

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Linda Williams, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Mar Monte (PPMM), speaks with Lisa Van Dusen about the challenges of leading the nation's largest Planned Parenthood affiliate. Over Williams' 22-year tenure, PPMM has grown from a one-county, five-health-center operation to a primary health-care provider serving 42 counties in two states with 36 full-service, full-time and 12 part-time centers. Ninety-seven percent of PPMM's services are preventive.

Williams, a Palo Alto resident, studied rhetoric at the University of Illinois -- a skill she regularly uses to articulate the importance of PPMM's services. Williams played Mrs. Santa Claus in her first grade class play, selected not for her stage presence but because "she was the fattest girl in her class." Now, a slight 113 lb. and 5'5" tall, Williams routinely finds herself on stage as a tireless advocate for primary health care, sex education and a woman's right to reproductive self-determination.

Interview by Lisa Van Dusen. Video by Rachel Hatch.

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Comments

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Posted by Please, PP: call it, like it is.
a resident of Leland Manor/Garland Drive
on Mar 12, 2012 at 11:34 am

Van Dusen writes the study of rhetoric is a skill Ms. Williams regularly uses to articulate the importance of Planned Parenthood's services to her community. My, oh my. Such fancy terminology.

(Undercover) reports at Planned Parenthood locations indicate it's not only in rhetoric with which many PP staff are accomplished.

Let the buyer beware of the "services" offered by Planned Parenthood.


Like this comment
Posted by SP
a resident of another community
on Mar 12, 2012 at 12:30 pm

"Ninety-seven percent of PPMM's services are preventive." That's very misleading. Only 33% of their work goes to contraception. She is listing the 10% of pregnancy testing they do as preventative. What is a pregnancy test supposed to prevent? Over 50% of their work is STD and cancer screening, which can prevent a bad situation from getting worse, but lets just be clear that it isn't really preventing anything from happening in the first place. Finally, she is only mentioning health services, which is 68% of the budget. They do other things too. 16% is management and fundraising. Another 5% is lobbying. How is lobbying "preventative"?

Info take from their annual reports you can find here: Web Link.


Like this comment
Posted by Localmom
a resident of Mountain View
on Mar 12, 2012 at 1:28 pm

Planned Parenthood is one of the most respectable, helpful and legitimate health care services in this country. Their services (and by "services" I mean annual health exams, pap smears, breast exams, and help when someone struggles with recurrent urinary tract infections or yeast infections) are invaluable to young people, students,and under-insured families. They provide care to women that is desperately needed, and I applaud Ms. Williams and all the staff that contribute to this amazing health care system. Those who have negative comments about Planned Parenthood are simply misinformed.
Though I am lucky enough to have excellent health care coverage now, there were years while as a student that I had NO health coverage, and Planned Parenthood was my only connection to health care. I have forever been grateful for the care I received and impressed with the quality of care they sought to provide. Planned Parenthood will always have my heartfelt thanks and support.


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