In its hiring and donors, Guttmacher shows continued ties to Planned Parenthood


The Guttmacher Institute has named a former Planned Parenthood staffer to serve as its national communications manager, according to Politico. Lauren Cross, who refers to herself as a “Future Cat Lady” on her Twitter page, previously served as the federal advocacy press officer for Planned Parenthood and spokesperson for Planned Parenthood Action. Media reports indicate that Cross has also worked on the 2012 Obama campaign and as a rapid response director for the Florida Democratic Party.


Lauren Cross, Guttmacher Communications, former Planned Parenthood staffer

Cross is not the first former Planned Parenthood staffer to be hired by Guttmacher. Several Guttmacher board members have past Planned Parenthood connections.

  • Board Chair Lou Turner Zellner was a former treasurer of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA).
  • Past Chair Mary Shallenberger was vice chair of Planned Parenthood’s alumni association.
  • Audit Committee Chair Deborah DeWitt is a former Planned Parenthood director, vice chair, and treasurer.
  • Vice Chair Nozer Sheriar previously served on the boards of International Planned Parenthood Federation.

A quick search on LinkedIn reveals additional Guttmacher staffers with former ties to the abortion corporation:

  • Gustavo Suarez: currently Communications Director at Guttmacher Institute, formerly Managing Director of Media Relations for PPFA.

  • Ellie Witwer: currently Research Associate at Guttmacher Institute, formerly assistant manager at Planned Parenthood Columbia Willamette.

  • Patrice Williams: currently Research Assistant at Guttmacher Institute, formerly Youth Rising fellow at Planned Parenthood.

In like manner, Planned Parenthood has hired a former Guttmacher staffer:

  • Carolyn Cox: currently Public Policy Manager at Planned Parenthood and formerly research assistant for Guttmacher.

These shared hires between Guttmacher and Planned Parenthood become really interesting when you look at the broader historical relationship between these two organizations.

Guttmacher Institute’s founder was a former Planned Parenthood President: 

The Guttmacher Institute was named after Dr. Alan F. Guttmacher, a former VP of the eugenics society and one time president of Planned Parenthood. The Institute described him by saying, “No one was better able to unite the Planned Parenthood organization or summon it to carry out its historic mission.” It was under A.F. Guttmacher’s direction and influence that Planned Parenthood began offering abortions in the 1970’s, as previously reported by Live Action News.

Alan Guttmacher, president of past Planned Parenthood (screenshot: CBS news)

Guttmacher Institute was housed in Planned Parenthood structure:

The Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI) was founded in 1968 as the Center for Family Planning Program Development and was housed within the corporate structure of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), according to Guttmacher’s website. The organization was later considered the watchdog agency over federally funded family planning programs, according to an interview with Guttmacher’s former President and CEO, Jeannie I. Rosoff.

So foundations wanted to have some kind of watchdog, policy oriented group to ride herd on the process. They did not think Planned Parenthood could be it because it was too self-involved. They also didn’t want to create a new entity because they thought, ―My god, they would have to support it forever. So the compromise was that they would give the money to Planned Parenthood but under the condition that some entity, which eventually became the Alan Guttmacher Institute, be organized within Planned Parenthood. It would have a separate name. It would have a separate address. It would have a separate national advisory board, even though the board of Planned Parenthood would still have the legal authority. And that‘s what existed between maybe 1968 and 1978, when AGI became totally independent….

But that is the same group that had both the Planned Parenthood political function, the lobbying function in Washington—I mean writing legislation, lobbying legislation—and the AGI technical assistance function.

Guttmacher Institute is a former “special affiliate” of Planned Parenthood:

Live Action News has previously detailed how, in past years, the media correctly referred to Guttmacher as a “division of Planned Parenthood.” As early as 1998, past issues of Planned Parenthood’s own annual reports referred to Guttmacher as a “special affiliate” of Planned Parenthood.


We enhance our mission by supporting a special affiliate, The Alan Guttmacher Institute (AGI), an independent, not-for-profit corporation for reproductive healthresearch, policy analysis, and public education.

Guttmacher Institute funded Planned Parenthood:

While the Guttmacher Institute has defended Planned Parenthood’s half a billion in taxpayer funding, a previous Live Action News report has documented how Guttmacher, which also receives taxpayer funds, has in past years sent millions of dollars to Planned Parenthood. As one example, Planned Parenthood’s 2000-2001 annual report reveals that Guttmacher gave the abortion business $6.4 million that year.

Image: Planned Parenthood funded by Guttmacher Institute (Image credit: 2000-2001 PPFA annual report)

Planned Parenthood funded by Guttmacher Institute (Image credit: 2000-2001 PPFA annual report)

In 2001, Guttmacher gave Planned Parenthood $16.7 million; in 2002, $7.8 million; in 2003, $7.6 million; in 2005, $7.9 million.

Guttmacher currently funded by PPFA’s Board Chair and pro-abortion organizations:

Guttmacher hasn’t just received funding from US taxpayers.  The research organization has also been propped up by abortion proponents, including George Soros’ Open SocietyGynuity Health Projects, JPB Foundation, David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Society of Family Planning, and others.

In 2017, Guttmacher also received funding from Soros family members Jennifer and Jonathan Allan Soros, as well as Planned Parenthood’s current Board Chair, Naomi Aberly.

Remember, Guttmacher is frequently assumed to be a non-biased authority on reproductive health research — yet interestingly, its large-scale donors all seem to be extremely pro-abortion.

Image: Guttmacher funded by Planned Parenthood Board Chair Naomi Aberly

Guttmacher funded by Planned Parenthood Board Chair Naomi Aberly

Guttmacher remains successful in convincing the media that it is the most trustworthy source on issues relating to “family planning” and “abortion,” despite obvious ties with Planned Parenthood and other abortion advocates.

While the continued cozy relationship between Guttmacher and Planned Parenthood adds to the body of evidence that these two organizations share the same goals, it remains to be seen whether members of the media will point out these connections the next time they quote the Guttmacher Institute.

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