Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi CEO Ashley Coffield
Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and North Mississippi CEO Ashley Coffield is fearless and an advocate for women’s health. She has led the organization through many changes and transitions, and she works to ensure that no woman is denied the services she needs. Currently, she is leading the fight against new laws that could restrict reproductive healthcare in the state.
Ashley is an Arkansas native who has been a health educator for over two decades. She graduated from Rhodes College and earned a master’s degree in public administration from Texas A&M University. Before being selected as the new executive director of PPGMR, she served on the Board of Directors from 2001 to 2009. During her tenure, she also served as a volunteer health educator in Memphis. Her leadership is credited with helping the organization defeat the controversial Amendment One.
In addition to her work with Planned Parenthood, Coffield has led the nonprofit Partnership for Prevention. This non-profit research organization works to develop and disseminate evidence-based programs and policies that improve the lives of people living in rural, urban and underserved communities. Previously, she worked for the US Department of Health and Human Services. She also directed education programs for federal policymakers.
As Planned Parenthood’s CEO, Coffield continues to protect reproductive rights from legal challenges. She is the fearless leader who helped lead the battle against anti-abortion laws in Tennessee. She is also the founder of the Snowden School Foundation. She is committed to providing quality reproductive health services and removing the stigma surrounding unplanned pregnancy.
As the debate over a Tennessee abortion ban rages on, Coffield is working to ensure that no woman is left without access to the reproductive health services she needs. She was awarded the Women of Achievement Award for Courage in 2016. While there are still conservative lawmakers in Tennessee who oppose abortion, Coffield is a fearless leader who is defending the right of women to access reproductive health care.
Plans are underway for Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and Mississippi to continue its abortion services for the time being. However, there are restrictions being put into place that are limiting the amount of information the organization can provide. Also, a law was passed that requires providers to meet hospital-level surgical standards when performing an abortion. Some of these restrictions may lead to patients having to travel to other states for abortion care. Although the company does provide STI testing, pre- and post-abortion care, and other services, it is expected that a growing number of women will choose to travel to other states for the procedure.
After the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, several states have introduced restrictions on abortion, including requiring that fetal remains be buried. In addition, some lawmakers have proposed laws that would limit the rights of expectant fathers. In the meantime, Planned Parenthood executives are bracing for the return of the old days of limited reproductive rights.
When Planned Parenthood of Tennessee and Northeast Mississippi was being threatened by an arson attack last year, Coffield was one of the few who spoke out. In response, she and her team stepped up security at all of their locations. In addition, they have started screening patients for the service. They may also offer gas cards to help women who must travel to get their medical care.