Planned Parenthood of Michigan (PPMI) announced recently that Paula Thornton Greear will lead the organization as its president and CEO. Thornton Greear will take the helm as the organization prepares to serve a surge of patients following the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, which is expected this summer.
“It is my honor to lead Planned Parenthood of Michigan and facilitate a smooth leadership transition at this critical juncture for Planned Parenthood and the patients and communities we serve, ” Thornton Greear said. “We are facing unparalleled attacks on reproductive freedom and abortion access across the country. In this historic moment, I am proud to stand with the incredible team at PPMI who are working to both secure and expand access to abortion in Michigan. Together, with our supporters and donors, we will navigate these uncertain times and ensure that all Michiganders can make their own decisions about their bodies, lives, and futures.”
Thornton Greear is an executive leader with more than 26 years of experience across advocacy, nonprofit, and corporate sectors.
Most recently, Thornton Greear served as the Chief External Affairs and Reputation Management Officer at Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL). During her tenure at PPIL, Thornton Greear led the restructuring of three teams into a united external affairs department.
Under her visionary leadership, PPIL defeated legislative threats to reproductive health and rights and expanded PPIL’s patient base. “I am thrilled to return to my roots in Michigan, where my reproductive health journey began and where I lived through high school and college. I look forward to continuing my life’s work of advocating for reproductive and sexual health, rights, and education here in the Mitten,” said Thornton Greear.
The current version of Michigan’s law criminalizing abortion without exceptions for rape or incest was enacted in 1931. In 1973, the passage of Roe v. Wade rendered Michigan’s 1931 ban unconstitutional and abortion became legal in the state of Michigan.
Roe v. Wade might be overturned as the majority-conservative Supreme Court hears a case, Dobbs v. Jackson, that could overturn the abortion ruling and set a new beginning for pro-lifers. According to a poll from January 2022, 67.3% of Michiganders support Roe, and 65.7% support repealing Michigan’s 1931 trigger ban on abortion. Over 77%, believe abortion should be a woman’s decision. A sizeable majority of Michiganders agree that abortion is a decision for a woman to make in consultation with a medical professional she trusts.
Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who has strong beliefs on abortion rights, said that politics should not drive important medical decisions.
“A woman must be able to make her own medical decisions with the advice of a healthcare professional she trusts – politicians shouldn’t make that decision for her,” Whitmer said. “Overturning Roe will criminalize abortion and impact nearly 2.2 million
Michigan women. If a woman is forced to continue a pregnancy against her will, it can have devastating consequences, including keeping families in poverty and making it harder for women and families to make ends meet.”