We honor the contributions of the recipients of the Society of Family Planning’s annual awards. Nominations are open for #SFP2024 until June 4!

Society of Family Planning Lifetime Achievement Award

The Society of Family Planning Lifetime Achievement Award, created in 2005, is for individuals and/or teams who have dedicated their careers to advancing the science of abortion and contraception, and have supported others in achieving their own success.

2023: Caitlin Gerdts, PhD, MHS

Reflecting on the work, Dr. Gredts shares, With this award, the Society of Family Planning is recognizing a body of work that is profoundly collaborative, and an approach to research that at once acknowledges the shameful role that research has played in perpetuating systematic inequities and harm, and seeks to do better. An award for work that I have engaged in in my lifetime is, in fact, a celebration of the many many lifetime achievements of the activists, advocates, providers, communities, and colleagues, who have been my partners in research. The work I do cannot, by any measure, reasonably be referred to as my own—research, for me, has always been synonymous with partnership. It is the expertise and lived experiences of my research partners and co-conspirators that inform the questions that need, urgently, to be answered; their commitment to collaborative study design and implementation that inspires participation in that research; and they who consistently hold the research process, and me, accountable to advancing justice.”

Dr. Gerdts is the recipient of the Society of Family Planning Lifetime Achievement Award. An epidemiologist and the Vice President for Research at Ibis Reproductive Health, Dr. Gerdts has contributed to the field of global reproductive health, rights, and justice through collaborative, groundbreaking work on novel research methods; working alongside activists to document the safety and effectiveness of feminist abortion-accompaniment models for self-managed medication abortion (SMA) throughout pregnancy; championing the next generation of activist-researchers; and collaborating across movements in the US to develop user-centered technology innovations that expand inclusive, private, and secure access to comprehensive reproductive health information and care. Dr. Gerdts contributed to the Studying Accompaniment Feasibility and Effectiveness (SAFE) study—the researcher-activist collaboration which demonstrated that SMA with support from non-clinically trained abortion-accompaniers is as effective as clinician-managed medication abortion. Dr. Gerdts also served as a member of the Guidelines Development Group for the 2022 World Health Organization Abortion Care Guideline, which, relying on evidence from abortion-accompaniment groups (among others) fully recommends SMA through 12 weeks gestation, and includes non-clinically trained community health-workers as recommended providers for medication abortion. Dr. Gerdts’ collaborative efforts to ensure access to inclusive, person-centered abortion care across settings and models are especially critical in the US as attacks on abortion continue to push clinic-based care out of reach for so many; abortion seekers and those who support them face criminalization disproportionately among those with marginalized identities; and mounting attacks on medication abortion spur the need for broader incorporation of  misoprostol-only regimens to expand abortion access for all people.

  • 2022: Régine Sitruk-Ware, MD
  • 2021: Roger Rochat, MD
  • 2020: Maureen Paul, MD, MPH
  • 2019: Uta Landy, PhD
  • 2018: Irving Sivin, MA
  • 2016: Dorothy Roberts, JD
  • 2015: Stanley K. Henshaw, PhD
  • 2014: Horacio Croxatto, MD
  • 2013: Carole Joffe, PhD
  • 2012: Anna Glasier, MD
  • 2011: Philip Darney, MD, MSc
  • 2010: Carolyn L. Westhoff, MD, MSc
  • 2009: Jacqui (Jacqueline) Darroch, PhD
  • 2008: Sheldon Segal, PhD
  • 2007: Daniel R. Mishell, Jr., MD
  • 2006: Leon Speroff, MD
  • 2005: David Grimes, MD

Society of Family Planning Beacon of Science Award

This award, created in 2019, is in recognition of individuals or teams who have made marked, visionary contributions towards just and equitable abortion and contraception informed by science.

2023: Caitlin Bernard, MD, MSCI

On the impact of science on advocacy, Dr. Bernard says, “The Society of Family Planning recognizes that research and care are not enough, advocacy is also a cornerstone of our work and that speaking out publicly about the harms of abortion restrictions is imperative. The Society values the commitment I made to other abortion providers and to people who live in states with abortion restrictions, that I will continue to publicly expose the harms of abortion bans, despite personal risk, because I believe it is the only way we will see change in public policy and legislation. Abortion is a human right and the restrictions we are facing in the US are violations of human rights and will not be reversed unless we publicly fight back.”

Dr. Bernard is the recipient of the Society of Family Planning Beacon of Science Award. She is an obstetrician gynecologist and Complex Family Planning specialist. She provides reproductive health care, including abortion care, in the Midwest. Her research and advocacy work in the US and Kenya focus on expanding access to comprehensive reproductive health care, including contraception, safe abortion, miscarriage, and pregnancy care. Post-Dobbs she has sought to publicly expose the human rights violations occurring every day through the denial of abortion care in states with abortion restrictions and encourages other physicians to speak out about the harms of abortion bans. 

2023: Reni Soon, MD, MPH

On the impact of science on shaping policy and practice, Dr. Soon says, “When we think of research as a systematic inquiry to learn new knowledge, we should be examining not only who is asking the questions but in whose system are we inquiring. Indigenous people have long had systems of learning grounded in generational ancestral knowledge, that acknowledged our oral traditions, understood the importance of our relationships, and honored the land we arose from. When we do this in indigenous communities, we are saying “I see you.”

Dr. Soon  is the recipient of the Society of Family Planning Beacon of Science Award. She has dedicated her career to improving reproductive health outcomes in Hawai’i, particularly among Native Hawaiians. Dr. Soon is a board-certified obstetrician gynecologist and Complex Family Planning subspecialist who has provided reproductive health care services at a health center in rural Oahu that serves a predominantly Native Hawaiian population. Through relationships built over 20 years working at this health center, she has conducted several community-engaged research projects. She was honored to receive a Leadership Award from the Center for Native Hawaiian Advancement and was recently named the University of Hawaii Department of Ob-Gyn Associate Chair for Native Hawaiian Health and Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. She is a Professor with the University of Hawai’i John A. Burns School of Medicine, and Program Director for the Fellowship in Complex Family Planning.

  • 2022: Christine Dehlendorf, MD, MAS
  • 2021: Ushma Upadhyay, PhD, MPH
  • 2020: Sonya Borrero, MD, MS
  • 2019: Daniel Grossman, MD
  • 2019: Maria I. Rodriguez, MD, MPH

Society of Family Planning Mentor Award

Created in 2013, this award is for individuals or teams who have demonstrated dedication to supporting and furthering the careers of a new generation of clinicians or scholars in the field of family planning. The award was previously named after the first recipient, Dr. Robert A. Hatcher.

2023: Kathryn Curtis, PhD

Asked to reflect on the importance of mentorship and workforce development, Dr. Curtis says, “I have had incredible mentors throughout my career, who taught me that investing in people is more important than individual projects and that everyone brings something valuable to the table. And I have had the good fortune to work with and mentor extraordinary students, fellows, and junior staff over the years, who brought fresh perspectives, optimistic enthusiasm, and productive energy to our work.”

Dr. Curtis is a recipient of the Society of Family Planning Mentor Award. She is a Health Scientist with the Division of Reproductive Health at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in Atlanta, Georgia. Dr. Curtis began her career at CDC in 1996 as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer, after receiving a PhD in epidemiology from the University of North Carolina. Her work focuses on contraceptive safety and effectiveness, expanding access to contraception, and the development and implementation of evidence-based contraception guidance for health care providers. Dr. Curtis has provided technical assistance to the World Health Organization (WHO) for over 30 years and collaborates with WHO to provide the evidence base for WHO’s global family planning guidance. Dr. Curtis’ team at CDC leads the effort to adapt and expand the WHO guidance for use in the US, including US Medical Eligibility Criteria for Contraceptive Use and US Selected Practice Recommendations for Contraceptive Use. She has participated in CDC responses to public health emergencies, including the Zika Virus Response and the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) Response, providing general support as well as addressing issues related to contraception. Dr. Curtis led the 2-year post-Family Planning Fellowship position at CDC from 2010-2022.

  • 2022: Monica R. McLemore, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN
  • 2021: Danielle Bessett, PhD, MA
  • 2021: Pratima Gupta, MD, MPH
  • 2021: Jody Steinauer, MD, PhD
  • 2020: Jenny Higgins, PhD, MPH
  • 2019: Alisa Goldberg, MD, MPH
  • 2018: Bliss Kaneshiro, MD, MPH
  • 2017: Diana Greene Foster, PhD
  • 2016: Linda Prine, MD
  • 2015: Mark D. Nichols, MD
  • 2014: Marji Gold, MD
  • 2013: Robert A Hatcher, MD, MPH

Society of Family Planning Next Generation Award

This award honors individuals early in their careers who have exhibited commitment to the field of family planning through their research or clinical practice. Individuals are eligible to receive this award if they are currently in training or will have completed training in the last five years at the time of the award presentation.

2023: Christina Bourne, MD, MPH

Asked about just and equitable abortion access, Dr. Bourne says: “On a daily basis, I have to consider patients who do not fit in the standard algorithms of care and labeled “medically complex”. This framing carries racist and classist implications, and is often used as a convenient excuse to justify substandard care or deny care all together. I generally cannot turn to the literature for answers to questions on how to care for a lot of patients. Instead, I lean into community wisdom, intuition, and often long risk/benefit discussions with patients regarding their values and preferences. Patients know their own bodies and circumstances, and they will often tell us exactly what they need if we are receptive to listening.”

Dr. Bourne is the recipient of the Society of Family Planning Next Generation Award. She is a family doctor and psychiatrist, and is currently the Medical Director of Trust Women, a non-profit organization that encompasses an independent abortion clinic in Wichita, Kansas and a community-centered clinic in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. Her clinical work focuses on second trimester abortion for those living in the Midwest and the South, creating affirmative spaces for gender diverse people across the lifespan, and caring for people who use drugs. She deeply believes in offering care to her community, but also recognizes that conventional healthcare systems have harmed us all, patients and healthcare workers alike. Dr. Bourne recognizes the exploitative, authoritarian, colonialist norms that are inherent to modern medical education, and she works daily to dismantle these ways of being in her personal and professional life. She went to medical school at University of Kansas-Wichita and completed a dual residency in Family Medicine and Psychiatry at University of California, Davis. She completed both the Physicians for Reproductive Health Fellowship and the TEACH Advocacy Fellowship, and is a proud member of CENTRS Health. She attributes a large part of her professional growth to the love and support of her mentors and chosen family, who have believed in and uplifted her consistently.

  • 2022: Ghazaleh Moayedi, DO, MPH
  • 2022: Elizabeth A. Mosley, PhD, MPH

Previous awards

Allan Rosenfield Award for Lifetime Contributions to International Family Planning

Offered from 2007-2018, the Allan Rosenfield Award for Lifetime Contributions to International Family Planning pays homage to the exceptional research, authority, and dedication of the award’s first recipient, Society fo Family Planning founding board member Dr. Allan Rosenfield. 

  • 2018: Timothy R.B. Johnson, MD
  • 2017: Vivian Brache
  • 2016: Beverly Winikoff, MD, MPH
  • 2015: Willard Cates, Jr. MD, MPH
  • 2014: John J. Sciarra, MD, PhD
  • 2013: Paul Blumenthal, MD, MPH
  • 2012: Rebecca Gomperts, MD, MPP
  • 2011: Anibal Faúndes, MD, PhD
  • 2010: Herbert B. Peterson, MD
  • 2009: J. Joseph Speidel, MD, MPH
  • 2008: Paul Van Look, MD, PhD
  • 2007: Allan Rosenfield, MD