The Widening Gyre

Rogues' Gallery
Signs of the Times



Grand Opening of the Charlottesville Center - 1990


Picture taken (left to right) of former Lieutenant Governor Don Beyer, Kathy Haynie Parker, and Ulysses Grant "Jim" Turner at the grand opening of the Charlottesville Center of Planned Parenthood of the Blue Ridge, 1990


Knickerbocker Award Luncheon - 1997


Picture (left to right) of David Nova, president and chief executive officer, George Loper, board member, and Hazel Bernard, vice president of development of Planned Parenthood of the Blue Ridge, taken at the Knickerbocker Award Luncheon honoring Jim and Alice Turner on September 18, 1997 in Charlottesville, Virginia.

On June 1, 1997, David Nova became president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of the Blue Ridge. David is also president of Roanoke Area Ministries, president of Temple Emanuel. and a former member of the Roanoke's Habitat for Humanity board.

Planned Parenthood Federation of America

1998 Virginia Legislative Session

In the News

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

In the United States, "Bible Belt residents suffer from three curable venereal maladies - syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia - more often than citizens in other regions. The reason for high rates in the South is difficult to pinpoint. Public-health experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention speculate that syphilis and gnorrhea may be more prevalent in low-income populations in rural areas - groups least likely to have access to health care. (Chlamydia cuts across all regions, ethnicities, and class lines.)" (George Magazine, February 1998).

"But some public-health officials lay blame on the Deep South's conservative politics. 'If you can't even talk about sex, it's very difficult to get people to protect themselves,' says Judith Wasserheit, a CDC director" (George Magazine, February 1998).

South Carolina ranks highest among states with cases of chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphillis per 100,000 citizens (600+); Vermont ranks the lowest (0 - 149); while Virginia ranks seventeenth (300 - 449) (George Magazine, February 1998).

The Proper Challenge of Roe vs. Wade

"Because of the moral magnitude of each woman's individual decision, Roe vs. Wade demands much from society at large. The Supreme Court ruling challenges us to provide women and their partners with the tools and knowledge required to handle pregnancy decisions responsibly, but without government interference. It is a challenge we have failed to fulfill" (David Nova, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of the Blue Ridge, The Daily Progress, January 25, 1998).

"Good, thoughtful, ethical people will always disagree on the issue of abortion. Yet for 25 years we have focused vast amounts of time and energy arguing over either/or. Either abortion is good or bad. Either contraception is good or bad. Either sex education is good or bad. In doing so we have avoided the root problem: too many unplanned, unwanted pregnancies. Sixty percent of pregnancies in America are unintended. These unplanned prenancies account for nearly all of the abortions performed in this country" (David Nova, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of the Blue Ridge, The Daily Progress, January 25, 1998).

"We as a society should neither complacently accept abortion nor outlaw it. We should maintain a level of discomfort about it and use that discomfort as motivation for preventing unintended pregnancy. Legal abortion has removed the abyss of the back alleys while demanding greater personal and societal responsibility. In the next 25 years, we must foster more responsible and thoughtful behavior regarding sexuality and pregnancy. That is the challenge posed by Roe vs. Wade" (David Nova, president and chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of the Blue Ridge, The Daily Progress, January 25, 1998).

The Muddled Middle

Approaching the Anniversary of Roe vs. Wade, the rhetoric on both sides of the abortion debate remain strong, "but, in truth, many people fall into what Kathryn Haynie Parker refers to as 'the muddled middle.' "What we do find is that when something happens to you personally or someone you love or care about, the issue changes,' said Parker, who was executive director of Planned Parenthood of the Blue Ridge for 19 years. Often people will say, 'I thought I didn't have an opinion' or 'I thought I was opposed to choice'" (Cody Lowe and Madelyn Rosenberg, The Roanoke Times, January 18, 1998).

Despite annual activities to sway public sentiment to one side or the other, the majority of Americans rank themselves somewhere in the middle, favoring abortion's availability with some restrictions, says Fordham University sociology professor Michael Cuneo (Caryle Murphy, The Washington Post, January 14, 1998).

"More than two decades' worth of Gallup Polls consistently have found that a majority - which its latest poll put at 61 percent - believe abortions should be legal 'only under certain circumstances,' which it does not define" (Cody Lowe and Madelyn Rosenberg, The Roanoke Times, January 18, 1998).

"Virginia Tech's 1997 Quality of Life Survey found that 2 out of 3 Virginians agree with the statement: 'Women should have the legal right to have an abortion'" (Cody Lowe and Madelyn Rosenberg, The Roanoke Times, January 18, 1998).

A survey conducted for Planned Parenthood in 1997 indicated that most voters have heard of Roe vs. Wade (79% of 1000 likely voters polled); that among those who have, a solid majority (58%) favor the decision; and that, after hearing a brief description of Roe vs. Wade, more than six out of ten agree with the decision. The survey also showed that 51% of the respondents believe they will live to see a woman lose her right to choose" (Lake Sosin Snell Perry & Associates/American Viewpoint, October 1997).

"People who have always known it as a right have a degree of complacency, (Kathryn) Parker said. 'There's a whole lot of taking for granted something that's been a right, even though a fragile one that's being whittled away a little at a time. People think, 'We don't need to think or worry about it''" (Cody Lowe and Madelyn Rosenberg, The Roanoke Times, January 18, 1998).

Improved Use of Contraceptives

"The Alan Guttmacher Institute, a New York-based organization that conducts research on reproductive issues, reported a 16 percent decrease in unintended pregnancies between 1987 and 1994. The chane is primarily a result of improved use of contraceptives, according to the study's author" (Barbara Vobejda, The Washington Post, January 18, 1998).

"The federal government reported last month that abortion rates declined steadily over the 1990's and had fallen 20 percent since 1980. The abortion rate - the number of abortions per 1,000 women age 15 to 44 - was 20 per 1000 women in 1995, down from 25 in 1980" (Barbara Vobejda, The Washington Post, January 18, 1998).

"... But the prevalence of unintended pregnancies nevertheless remains common, with American women reporting that nearly half of pregnancies were unplanned" (Barbara Vobejda, The Washington Post, January 18, 1998).

Abortion Rates in the United States

Since the Roe vs. Wade decision twenty-five years ago, "some 21 million American women have chosen to have 35 million abortions. As the legal, political and ethical arguments have raged, as ambivalent Americans have been pulled by arguments on both sides, these women became their own moral decision makers" (Ellen Goodman, The Washington Post, January 17, 1998).

"... A quarter-century ago, a 26-year old lawyer, Sarah Weddington, told the Supreme Court, 'We are not here to advocate abortion .... We are here to advocate that the decision as to whether or not a particular woman will continue to carry ... a pregnancy is a decision that should be made by the individual.'" (Ellen Goodman, The Washington Post, January 17, 1998).

"(Says Goodman,) I hold no illusions about an end to this 'emotional and divisive public argument.' It will be shaped by politics and medicine, by abstract arguements about 'life.' But in the next 25 years it will also - and I think, most fundamentally - be shaped by women looking at their own lives. Women who know the importance of having a choice, however hard. Not the government's choice, their own" (Ellen Goodman, The Washington Post, January 17, 1998).

Search and Destroy

John C. Herr, director of the Contraceptive Vaccine Center at the University of Virginia, and Alan B. Diekman, director of immunodiagnostics at Contravac, are working "on a vaccine to prevent pregnancy by making a woman's immune system attack and kill sperm.... Dr. Herr said, 'This will be the first human trial of a contraceptive vaccine based upon sperm anywhere in the world.' No one knows whether the vaccine will work in human beings or how long it would prevent pregnancy" (Jennifer Motl, The Daily Progress, December 29, 1998).

"The vaccine is made of a piece of a protein found only in sperm. Theoretically, after it enters a woman's bloodstream, the woman's immune system will create antibodies that will attack the protein whenever they come in contact with the sperm" (Jennifer Motl, The Daily Progress, December 29, 1998).

Russia and Safe Sex

"With its health system in rapid decline, Russia can't afford the expensive drugs used to treat patients with AIDS and the HIV virus that causes it. Therefore, government officials say, prevention must be the country's main line of defense. Teaming up with the international aid group Doctors Without Borders, the (Russian) government began a media campaign Thursday that targeted Moscow with Newspaper ads urging condem use and other safe sex practices" (The Daily Progress, June 20, 1997).

"During Soviet times, the government restricted travel and discouraged contacts with foreigners. But drug use and prostitution, two activities more or less kept in check during the Soviet era, have become widespread problems since the Soviet breakup ... 'In general, our population already has information on AIDS. But the distance between knowledge and changing behavior can be very great,' said Goliusov" (The Daily Progress, June 20, 1997).

According to a recent report by the United Nations Population Fund, "The State of World Population," the HIV virus "is quickly spreading among Russian women. HIV-infected men in Russia currently outnumber women by only two to one -- the ratio was six-to-one two years ago" (Beth Pugh, RFE/RL, Washington, D.C., May 29, 1997).

"It explains tthat sharp rises in rates of sexually transmitted disease indicates a rise in unsafe sex -- a leading cause of the spread of HIV-infection and AIDS ... The report also says the rate of deaths from unsafe abortion in the former Soviet Union is five times the rate in Western Europe" (Beth Pugh, RFE/RL, Washington, D.C., May 29, 1997).

Myths about Teenage Childbearing

"Kristin A. Moore, president of Child Trends Inc., said many commonly held beliefs about teenage childbearing are myths. These include: (Judith Havemann, The Washington Post, March 24, 1997)

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