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Planned Parenthood Raises $1.2 Million in Houston’s Emotional Roe v. Wade Luncheon

Ballroom Packed With 2,200 Guests Fighting for Women's Health Care

BY // 02.27.19

What: Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast annual “Roe v. Wade” luncheon

Where: The Hilton Americas-Houston

PC Moment: The turnout alone was remarkable with more than 2,200 men and women joining in the effort to guarantee women access to all forms of health care. Add the $1.2 million in proceeds, quite notable for a luncheon, and you have a remarkable event.

Adding to the allure was keynote speaker Dr. Leana Wen, president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the first physician to head the organization in almost 50 years. Her remarks focused on the organization’s vision to protect and expand access to reproductive health care in the face of a national administration ignoring the full range of Planned Parenthood services. Nationally, the organization provides a wide scope of health services to nearly 2.5 million women and men each year.

While Roe v. Wade dates back 46 years, the seeds of Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast were planted in the 1930s with the Maternal Health Center. In 1947 prominent civic leader Will Clayton, along with George R. Brown, Ben Taub and Hugh Roy Cullen, joined a fundraising campaign which secured Planned Parenthood’s position as a leading provider of health care in the Houston community.

The Clayton family was honored at the luncheon with the Second Century Award for its continued support of the organization that began in 1936 when Sue Clayton and daughter Susan McAshan served as original members of the Maternal Health Center board. The award was accepted by Burdine Clayton Johnson, granddaughter of Will and Sue Clayton. She was presented the award by Melaney Linton, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast president and CEO.

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Joining chairs Karen Ostrum George and Karen A. Twitchell in the spotlight were their daughters — Camille Pompei, Meredith George and Lena Gerecht. In addition to Sarah Weddington, who successfully argued Roe v. Wade before the Supreme Court, the throng included numerous elected officials including Harris County Judge Lina Hildago; Mayor Pro-Tem Ellen Cohen; City Council members Karla Cisneros, Amanda Edwards, Mike Laster and David Robinson; and a covey of judges swept in on the Democratic tide of the November elections.

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