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Dear SFP fellows and colleagues,

I write to provide you with a brief overview of SFP's activities this year, as well as to ask you to consider making a tax-deductible contribution to support SFP's mission and essential work throughout the year. You may designate your donation for a particular purpose or simply support our overall activities.

Annual meeting

Dr. Philip DarneyDr. Anibel FaundesIn October, SFP convened our annual meeting in Washington, DC in conjunction with the First Annual North American Forum on Family Planning, produced in partnership with Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). With over 470 attendees, and strong science and educational content, the Forum was a resounding success. Between the plenary panels and concurrent sessions, attendees had much from which to choose. One of the highlights of the meeting was the SFP Awards Luncheon, where our two awardees, Drs. Phil Darney and Anibal Faúndes, gave thought-provoking talks about their work and the status of family planning research and policy in the United States and throughout the world.

Dr. Ila DayanandaDr. Lisa HarrisThe winner of the Outstanding Researcher Award this year was SFP fellow Lisa Harris, MD, PhD for her oral abstract presentation, The ‘Legitimacy Paradox’ in U.S. Abortion Provision. Ila Dayananda, MD, MPH, SFP junior fellow, received the Outstanding Researcher-in-Training Award for her oral abstract, Does Follow-Up with BhCG Simplify Medical Abortion? A Randomized Controlled Trial.

For the first time, awards were also given for the top three scientific posters. The first place poster was Self-administration of subcutaneous depot medroxyprogesterone acetate: A pilot observational study of feasibility and acceptability (Ashley Sweet, and SFP junior fellow Sujatha Prabhakaran, MD); second place, Computer-assisted provision of hormonal contraception in urgent care settings (Eleanor Bimla Schwarz, MD, MS, SFP fellow); and third place, Knowledge regarding oral contraceptive use, contraindications and non-contraceptive benefits among prescription pill users compared to over-the-counter users (Daniel Grossman, MD, SFP fellow).

The call for scientific abstracts and education session proposals for the Second Annual North American Forum on Family Planning opened on December 1st and will close on March 16th at 11:59 pm EST. SFP is pleased to continue our collaboration with PPFA to produce the Forum, which will be the preeminent conference next year on family planning research and practice. Further, SFP will continue managing the scientific abstracts program for the Forum, as well as collaborate with our partners to develop the conference content and select faculty. The meeting will be held in Denver, October 27-29.

Research funding program

As a result of our 2011 Request for Proposals, we allocated nearly $1.54 million, a 22% increase over the previous year, for research in family planning and abortion. (Read the study abstracts.) In addition, included in that total are new career development awards and student researcher awards. Please note, to be eligible for grant funding in the 2012 cycle, non-fellows must apply online by January 31, 2012 and be approved for fellowship. Look for the new RFP soon.

Clinical guidelines

Another core activity central to SFP's mission is to foster the advancement of clinical care through the development of evidence-based clinical guidelines. In 2011, we published two new guidelines in Contraception, an International Reproductive Health Journal, SFP's official journal. Prevention of infection after induced abortion, and Labor induction abortion in the second trimester have been downloaded by hundreds already, demonstrating the need for comprehensive information on clinical care related to abortion. Next to be published are Provision of contraception for women with cancer, First trimester abortion in women with co-morbidities, and Management of post-abortion hemorrhage.


We close 2011 with myriad volunteers, supporters, collaborators, and more than 300 fellows poised to help ensure that 2012, our eighth year of operation, is a successful one. On behalf of the SFP board and staff, I am grateful for your participation and support of our mission to advance science in family planning, including contraception and abortion, by funding research and promoting the expansion and dissemination of family planning knowledge.


Susan Higginbotham signature
Susan Higginbotham, MEd
Executive Director