Paula Thornton Greear

President & CEO, Planned Parenthood of Michigan

Speaker | 2023 Ideas Summit

Paula Thornton Greear has taken the helm as Planned Parenthood of Michigan serves a surge of patients traveling to Michigan for abortion access after the Supreme Court’s devastating decision to overturn Roe v. Wade. 

“It is my honor to lead Planned Parenthood of Michigan and facilitate a smooth leadership transition at this critical juncture for Planned Parenthood and the patients and communities we serve,” Thornton Greear said. “We are facing unparalleled attacks on reproductive freedom and abortion access across the country. In this historic moment, I am proud to stand with the incredible team at PPMI who are working to both secure and expand access to abortion in Michigan. Together, with our supporters and donors, we will navigate these uncertain times and ensure that all Michiganders can make their own decisions about their bodies, lives, and futures.”

Thornton Greear is a proven executive leader with more than 26 years of experience across advocacy, nonprofit, and corporate sectors. Most recently, Thornton Greear served as the Chief External Affairs and Reputation Management Officer at Planned Parenthood of Illinois (PPIL). During her tenure at PPIL, Thornton Greear led the restructuring of three teams into a united external affairs department. Under her visionary leadership, PPIL defeated legislative threats to reproductive health and rights and expanded PPIL’s patient base.

“I am thrilled to return to my roots in Michigan, where my reproductive health journey began and where I lived through high school and college. I look forward to continuing my life’s work of advocating for reproductive and sexual health, rights, and education here in the Mitten,” said Thornton Greear.

“When I first began exploring the possibility of serving as PPMI’s next leader, one thing kept returning to me: this organization was truly meeting the moment that we are in. What do I mean by that? I mean that, at a time when the Supreme Court of the United States stripped us of our basic right to bodily autonomy, PPMI did not wait for their decision – with Dr. Sarah Wallett, PPMI filed a lawsuit and won a preliminary injunction that has prevented Michigan’s 1931 abortion ban from taking effect.

That’s meeting the moment. It’s also launching gender affirming hormone care at the same time states are criminalizing care that we know is lifesaving for trans, nonbinary and gender-expansive folks. The answer to an obvious injustice, where PPMI is concerned, is to make sure more people can access the care they need – no matter where they’re coming from.

As we look around the Midwest, abortion bans are sweeping state after state – and we are answering that grave injustice by welcoming and caring for as many patients as we can.”

“I am humbled by this great honor to serve as PPMI’s President and CEO and to have the opportunity to continue to build our affiliate with each and every one of you. Serving PPMI now is the culmination of my lifelong commitment to and passion for advocating for reproductive and sexual rights, health, and education, as well as a broader social justice agenda.”