What is Your Story?

Our donors are giving back in extraordinary ways. Through their generous plans, these donors enable PAI to protect and advance reproductive rights around the globe and create a world of opportunity for women everywhere.

Please consider leaving your own legacy to advance the right to affordable, quality contraception and reproductive health care for generations to come.


Sharon Camp, Ph.D.

 

My deep commitment to reproductive rights goes back more than half a century, to my senior year in college when abortion was still illegal across the United States and effective contraception was largely unavailable to unmarried women. Like millions of desperate women in many parts of the world today, I resorted to a clandestine abortion—a terrifying and almost fatal experience.

A year later, on my first trip to Africa, I came face-to-face again with the tragedy of a botched abortion when a young woman sharing my room in a bush hospital in Mali died of abortion-related complications.

After earning a Ph.D. in international studies, and working for a few years in domestic policy and politics, I took a job in 1975 at what is now PAI as a public interest lobbyist for international family planning. That was the beginning of a forty-year career in women’s reproductive health and rights— the cause already so close to my heart.

What enables me today to leave a legacy gift for PAI is the work I undertook, beginning in 1995, to develop and bring to market Plan B emergency contraception. With fellow activists in the United States and internationally determined to make emergency contraception a standard in women’s health care, I pushed the pharmaceutical industry to bring a dedicated product to market without success. So after twenty years as a public interest lobbyist, I started a tiny pharmaceutical company—something for which I had no obvious qualifications.

Nine years later, the still tiny—but now profitable— company was sold. I distributed half of my share of the proceeds to the company’s largely non-profit investors and put half in a Charitable Remainder Trust. I receive annual payments to supplement my retirement income. It feels good to be able to set aside this pot of money to leave a legacy for the reproductive rights community.

A portion of my trust will go to PAI. I do so with the confidence that PAI, with its more than 50year track record, will be around for many years after I am gone, and that it will continue to be a key player in the ever-challenging battle for reproductive rights.

The rest of my assets, including retirement funds, will go to my family—something we all want to do. But I encourage others to think about the causes that have mattered to them during their lifetimes and be purposeful in planning their legacy for a better world.


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