We honor the leaders in the field of family planning through three awards at our Society of Family Planning Annual Meeting. We are delighted to honor the contributions of this year’s recipients and celebrate the leaders who we have honored before.


Society of Family Planning Lifetime Achievement Award

The Society of Family Planning Lifetime Achievement Award, created in 2005, is for individuals and/or teams who have dedicated their careers to advancing the science of abortion and contraception, and have supported others in achieving their own success.

2020: Maureen Paul, MD, MPH

Reflecting on what motivates her, Dr. Paul says, “As an abortion provider, I hear every day about the need for just and equitable access to abortion through my patients’ stories. They are stories about the social and structural inequities that affect people’s lives and decision-making. They are stories about hopes and aspirations for themselves, their families, and communities. They are often infuriating and always courageous stories of people who face enormous obstacles to exercise their fundamental right to bodily integrity and self-determination. These stories are the beacons that guide my commitment to advance a world in which all people have unfettered access to care and the best that the field of family planning has to offer.”

Dr. Maureen Paul is the recipient of the Society of Family Planning Lifetime Achievement Award. Dr. Paul is an obstetrician gynecologist who has dedicated her career to advancing abortion access and care through research, education, and advocacy. In collaboration with other feminist activists, she co-founded the first women’s self-help clinic in the US as well as the Massachusetts Abortion Access Project. During the last two decades, Dr. Paul has served as Medical Director of three Planned Parenthood affiliates, Director of the Family Planning Division at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and Medical Director of Affiliates Risk Management Services, the risk management services organization for Planned Parenthood affiliates nationwide. She has spearheaded numerous initiatives to expand the range of practitioners qualified to provide abortion care, including ANSIRH’s Training in Early Abortion for Comprehensive Healthcare (TEACH) project for primary care residents and programs to broaden the scope of practice of advanced practice clinicians to include aspiration abortion. With a passion for both science and writing, Dr. Paul served as Chief Editor for two leading textbooks on abortion practice as well as Deputy Editor of Contraception. Her numerous research contributions have focused on the safety and efficacy of early aspiration abortion, innovative strategies to improve access to later abortion, novel simulation techniques for abortion and IUC training, and the impact of team training on quality and patient safety. Dr. Paul has served on numerous community-based and professional boards and committees, including PPFA’s National Medical Committee and the Board of Directors of NAF and the Society of Family Planning, and she is a consultant to Ibis Reproductive Health’s Later Abortion Initiative.

  • 2019: Uta Landy, PhD
  • 2018: Irving Sivin, MA
  • 2016: Dorothy Roberts, JD
  • 2015: Stanley K. Henshaw, PhD
  • 2014: Horacio Croxatto, MD
  • 2013: Carole Joffe, PhD
  • 2012: Anna Glasier, MD
  • 2011: Philip Darney, MD, MSc
  • 2010: Carolyn L. Westhoff, MD, MSc
  • 2009: Jacqui (Jacqueline) Darroch, PhD
  • 2008: Sheldon Segal, PhD
  • 2007: Daniel R. Mishell, Jr., MD
  • 2006: Leon Speroff, MD
  • 2005: David Grimes, MD

Society of Family Planning Beacon of Science Award

This award, created in 2019, is in recognition of individuals or teams who have made marked, visionary contributions towards just and equitable abortion and contraception informed by science. 

2020: Sonya Borrero, MD, MS

Asked to reflect on her work, Dr. Borrero shared, “In this important time of reckoning with the many ways in which we intentionally and unintentionally stratify human value, I hope that our work has helped to illuminate the perspectives and amplify the voices of people from marginalized populations to shed light on pathways toward equitable and just reproductive health care. I am committed to actively listening to people with diverse experiences, backgrounds, and values to aid with surfacing and challenging common assumptions, biases, and behaviors in family planning care that hinder our ability to truly put people at the center of our efforts.”

Dr. Sonya Borrero is the recipient of the Society of Family Planning Beacon of Science Award. Dr. Borrero is a tenured Professor of Medicine, Clinical and Translational Science, and Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Sciences and Director of the Center for Women’s Health Research and Innovation (CWHRI) at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. She is also Associate Director of the VA Center for Health Equity Research and Promotion (CHERP) and a staff physician at VA Pittsburgh. She is an internist with advanced training in women’s health whose work strives to advance reproductive health equity. Her research has specifically focused on understanding the multilevel influences on contraceptive and pregnancy decision making in marginalized populations in order to identify social, clinical, and policy interventions that will decrease people’s risk for undesired pregnancy and that will augment reproductive autonomy. Her current projects include optimizing pre-pregnancy and contraceptive care provision within the VA Healthcare System, developing patient-centered digital tools to support reproductive decision making and facilitate provider provision of family planning care, expanding access to comprehensive family planning services in Western Pennsylvania, and advancing understanding of how social and structural factors and inequalities shape and constrain low-income men’s and women’s reproductive agency, intentions, and behaviors.

  • 2019: Daniel Grossman, MD
  • 2019: Maria I. Rodriguez, MD, MPH

Society of Family Planning Mentor Award

Created in 2013, this award is for individuals or teams who have demonstrated dedication to supporting and furthering the careers of a new generation of academic clinicians or scholars in the field of family planning. The award was previously named after first recipient, Dr. Robert A. Hatcher.

2020: Jenny Higgins, PhD, MPH

In discussing her involvement in the Society, Dr. Higgins writes, I align wholeheartedly with SFP’s commitment to science, as well as SFP’s clear understanding that our main lane is research—research that, we hope, ultimately undergirds better policies and programs. SFP represents a community of amazing folks who are also committed to increasing people’s access to contraception and abortion services. What a treat to come together with like-minded researchers, for intellectual exchange, skill development, research funding, and opportunities for trainees and junior folks.”

Dr. Jenny Higgins is the recipient of the Society of Family Planning Mentor Award. Dr. Higgins is a professor of both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Gender and Women’s Studies at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Dr. Higgins directs the Collaborative for Reproductive Equity. Her research interests include sexuality and reproductive health, including the role of sexual pleasure in contraceptive satisfaction and use—a concept she and her collaborators call “contraceptive sexual acceptability.” Her current projects also include medication abortion restrictions in Wisconsin, the role of religiously-affiliated health systems in reproductive health services in Wisconsin, and the role of social inequality in shaping sexual pleasure and other aspects of sexual wellbeing. Dr. Higgins loves serving a kind of doula to others’ research projects, both trainees’ and peers’, as well as trying to inspire her wonderful colleagues across disciplines to turn at least a drop of their research portfolios toward abortion and contraception. She recently completed two terms as a board member at the Guttmacher Institute, and serves on the editorial advisory boards of both Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health and The Journal of Sex Research. She loves and is inspired by the SFP community.

  • 2019: Alisa Goldberg, MD, MPH
  • 2018: Bliss Kaneshiro, MD, MPH
  • 2017: Diana Greene Foster, PhD
  • 2016: Linda Prine, MD
  • 2015: Mark D. Nichols, MD
  • 2014: Marji Gold, MD
  • 2013: Robert A Hatcher, MD, MPH

Previous Awards

Allan Rosenfield Award for Lifetime Contributions to International Family Planning

Offered from 2007-2018, the Allan Rosenfield Award for Lifetime Contributions to International Family Planning pays homage to the exceptional research, authority, and dedication of the award’s first recipient, Society fo Family Planning founding board member Dr. Allan Rosenfield. 

  • 2018: Timothy R.B. Johnson, MD
  • 2017: Vivian Brache
  • 2016: Beverly Winikoff, MD, MPH
  • 2015: Willard Cates, Jr. MD, MPH
  • 2014: John J. Sciarra, MD, PhD
  • 2013: Paul Blumenthal, MD, MPH
  • 2012: Rebecca Gomperts, MD, MPP
  • 2011: Anibal Faúndes, MD, PhD
  • 2010: Herbert B. Peterson, MD
  • 2009: J. Joseph Speidel, MD, MPH
  • 2008: Paul Van Look, MD, PhD
  • 2007: Allan Rosenfield, MD

#SFP2020 on-demand

It’s not too late to experience #SFP2020. Register by December 18, 2020.