At its annual conference February 5th, 2011, the Abortion Care Network gave three awards to those who have shown exemplary and outstanding service to the abortion care community and to the women it serves. The David Gunn Lifetime Achievement honoree this year is Peg Johnston, a clinic director, long-time leader in the abortion care community, and author of many patient self help materials. The Vision Award, given to “person or persons who challenge the stigma of abortion in every day practice,” was awarded to Advancing New Standards In Reproductive Health (ANSIRH), with Director Tracy Weitz accepting the award. Shelley Oram was honored as “ACN Person of the Year” for her “above and beyond” service to the members of the Abortion Care Network, especially in her work as meeting planner.
Peg Johnston has been director of an abortion facility in Binghamton, NY since 1981 and has been active on the national stage in her efforts to provide compassionate abortion care for women. She is a past president of the Abortion Care Network, the Abortion Conversation Project, and the National Coalition of Abortion Providers and the primary author of several patient aides, notably the Pregnancy Options Workbooks, Healthy Coping, Mom, Dad, I’m Pregnant, and Especially for Men.” She has also written several influential essays, including, “Opting Out of the Abortion Wars,” “We Have Met the Enemy and S/he is Us,” and “Lose the Adjective.”
ANSIRH was specifically honored for its ground breaking research on abortion stigma and for evidence based standards for counseling, patient care, and provider training. They are part of the Bixby Center for Reproductive Health at the University of California at San Francisco.
Shelley Oram has made her extensive organizational skills available to the Abortion Care Network pro bono because she believes in the importance of good abortion care. A former member of the staff of Routh Street Clinic in Dallas TX, she has more recently been credited with leading efforts to get a health center in Rowe, NM and for equipping the fire department and other improvements to communities in rural New Mexico.
Prior recipients of the David Gunn Memorial Award are Dr. George Tiller, Frances Kissling. of Catholics for Choice, Charlotte Taft of Imagine Consulting, and Mary and Lee Carhart MD, Ruth Arick of Choice Pursuits Consulting. ACP Vision Award recipients include Claire Keyes of Allegheny Reproductive Health, Elizabeth Barnes of Philadelphia Women’s Center, the Allentown Women’s Center Staff, and Andrea Ferrigno of Whole Woman’s Health in Texas, and the attorneys at Center for Reproductive Rights. “Persons of the Year,” in chronological order are: Peg Johnston of Southern Tier Women’s Services, Terry Merritt of Connections Consulting, Everett Sobieski of Aware Woman Center of Florida, Bob Patane of HPS Rx, Amy Hagstrom Miller of Whole Woman’s Health Centers, Mary Frank of Memphis Reproductive Health Center, Deborah Vanderhei, a consultant with the Abortion Access Project, Danco Laboratories, and other organizations, Rev. Rebecca Turner of Faith Aloud.
The Abortion Care Network is a network committed to supporting the abortion care community by creating public and private opportunities for conversation about all pregnancy decisions as a way of eliminating abortion stigma. Members of ACN include independent abortion providers, as well as organizations and individuals who provide other kinds of care to women and their loved ones seeking abortion care. For more information, contact Director Charlotte Taft at 202-419-1444 or consult the website at www.abortioncarenetwork.org.