Dianne Luby became PPLM's President and CEO in 1999, introducing what former Board Chair John Pratt labels, "a chance to redefine the organization and try a new approach to broaden and deepen what we were doing. Dianne was the silver lining. PPLM is very different and much stronger today." The list of post-Luby accomplishments, including PPLM's national leadership, is long.
In 2001, PPLM brought Mifepristone, the abortion medication pill also known as RU-486, into its clinics as a safe, private method of terminating an early pregnancy and in 2002, helped pass the Contraceptive Coverage Equity Law. VOX, Voices for Planned Parenthood on college campuses grew quickly, engaging more university students in PPLM advocacy. Thanks to PPLM's role in getting the Emergency Contraception (EC) Bill passed in 2005, PPLM developed an on-line capacity that enables patients to securely request EC. The 2005 election of a pro-choice majority the MA legislature was considered by many to be a PPLM triumph. In 2006, the first satellite health center, Plan: A Planned Parenthood Express Center, opened in Davis Square in Somerville, MA.
In 2003, PPLM recruited Alisa Goldberg, M.D., MPH, from the University of San Francisco Medical Center as Director of Clinical Research and Training. Under Dr. Goldberg, PPLM was awarded the prestigious honor of the 11th Family Planning Fellowship in the country. New residency training partnerships with UMass Memorial Medical Center and Baystate Medical Center have engaged more medical students in learning comprehensive reproductive healthcare skills, a new Boston-based research center has expanded the organization's role in both clinical and public policy issues, and PPLM joined a small collaboration of Planned Parenthood affiliates to bring Electronic Health Records to all affiliates across the country. "But there's currently not one dollar of federal money spent on abortion research," Luby laments, suggesting there's plenty of work left to do. She praises the "incredibly smart people" at all levels of the organization, including her staff, board and supporters, all of whom encourage "thinking big and having a long-term, national impact."
In 2005, as the nation's Supreme Court conservative appointees took their seats on the bench, PPLM took pride in being integral to a statewide lobbying campaign that passed the override of Governor Romney's veto, thereby allowing trained pharmacists to dispense EC without a doctor's prescription. Under the direction of Public Relations and Governmental Affairs VP Angus McQuilken, PPLM also led a successful state and national campaign to convince Wal-Mart to change its policy and stock emergency contraception on its shelves throughout America. McQuilken helped Mississippi's Planned Parenthood rally opposition to a law requiring doctors to tell patients that abortion raises cancer risks. With his involvement, their Should doctors be required to lie to patients? campaign worked to change the law. On all fronts, education, advocacy, patient care, outreach and clinical research, PPLM has sought ever-more ways to secure and protect reproductive rights and quality care for women of every age, ethnicity and income.