Today we celebrate our #1 top women’s reproductive health, rights, and justice nonprofit making a major impact at the national level: the Guttmacher Institute. Guttmacher was repeatedly heralded by our experts as the leading research and data provider in the field of reproductive rights. Further, Guttmacher’s advocacy efforts were praised as critical to advancing the national policy agenda.
Here’s the founding story about the Guttmacher Institute:
The Guttmacher Center was originally constituted as a semiautonomous division of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). At the time, Presidents John F. Kennedy, Lyndon Johnson, and Richard Nixon had begun to call the public’s attention to the problem of unplanned and unwanted childbearing and its consequences for individual women and men, their children and their communities both at home and abroad. Concurrently, the United States Congress was taking its first steps toward the development of an international population assistance program, as well as a multifaceted, national program aimed at providing equitable access to modern methods of birth control in the United States.
Its early development was nurtured by Alan F. Guttmacher, an eminent obstetrician-gynecologist, teacher and writer who was PPFA’s president for more than a decade until his death in 1974. He joined the birth control movement in the 1920s when he was an intern, after witnessing a woman die from a botched abortion. In Baltimore, he was an effective advocate, organizer and worker for family planning at The Johns Hopkins and Sinai Hospitals and the Planned Parenthood affiliate. Following his appointment as Director of Obstetrics and Gynecology at New York’s Mt. Sinai Hospital in 1952, he assumed increasing leadership of the national Planned Parenthood organization, first as member, then as volunteer chairman of Planned Parenthood’s National Medical Committee and, in 1962, as full-time national President. In the 1960s he took major responsibility for the work of the International Planned Parenthood Federation, serving as chairman of its Medical Committee and travelling to scores of Asian, African, and Latin American nations to lecture to physicians, work with program personnel, talk with ordinary people and meet with heads of state. The Center was renamed in Dr. Guttmacher’s memory, and the Guttmacher Institute became an independent, not-for-profit corporation in 1977.
To learn more about the Guttmacher Institute and its impact, read the expert reviews here.