Oregon Planned Parenthood CEOs’ Decision to Dissolve Political Arm is Short-Sighted

The decision by the two newly-appointed CEOs of Oregon’s Planned Parenthood to dissolve the political arm of the organization – Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon – is a short-sighted and rushed decision that will leave the state with ‘zero abortion rights advocacy organizations.’

Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon (PPAO) were blind-sided by the decision taken by the two newly appointed CEOs of Oregon Planned Parenthood (OPP) to dissolve the political arm. In a written statement to board members, PPAO warns that the two new CEOs are seriously miscalculating the impact their ‘rushed path forward’ will have as the PPAO is now the only pro-abortion advocacy organization remaining in Oregon.


U.S. Representative Val Hoyle Throws Her Weight Behind PPAO

The organization’s appeal is supported by U.S. Rep. Val Hoyle, D-Eugene, who has signed a letter urging the two CEOs to reconsider their decision.

Hoyle questions the wisdom of the decision without any process, partnership, or transparency, adding that she is baffled because ‘reproductive health care is on the ballot,’ and points out that the upcoming election will be ‘the most consequential election of our lifetime.’

The two newly appointed CEOs of OPP are Dr. Sara Kennedy and Amy Handler. Dr. Kennedy will head Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette, the largest nonprofit reproductive and sexual health care provider in the state, as well as in Southwestern Washington. This branch has clinics in Bend, Portland metro, Ontario, Salem, Vancouver, and Washington. Amy Handler oversees Planned Parenthood of Southwestern Oregon with clinics in Eugene-Springfield, Grants Pass, and Medford.

Their appointment in May comes at a juncture where half of the states in the U.S. have passed laws to restrict access to abortion clinics and other reproductive health services, the two services provided by the OPP affiliates.

The CEOs sent a letter on Friday last week to the PPAO, informing them of their decision to dissolve the political arm and to restructure the political arm to focus on health care and the needs of patients. The letter stresses that they are not dissolving their commitment to advocacy in Oregon, but rather to realign with a mission of service delivery.

The CEOs stated they are proud of what the PPAO has achieved over the last two decades and are committed ‘to entering 2025 with resolve, political power, and a steadfast commitment to health equity.’

In reply, the PPAO states that it has ‘intentionally and strategically’ built a network of donors, volunteers, staff, and board members who have professional and personal relationships needed to pass planned parenthood legislative priorities and to win campaigns.  Because of their work, the organization has the critical relationships and connections needed for ‘the fights we know are ahead of us.’



The PPAO’s 19 board members, including the two affiliate CEOs, were scheduled to vote on the decision to dissolve the Planned Parenthood Advocates of Oregon last night (Tuesday). The PPAO is committed to access for all to sex education and health care regardless of income, immigration status, gender, sexual identity, race, or location.




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