The board of Women Have Options is proud to announce the election of our new chair, Sandy Huntzinger. Sandy is an inspiring, committed leader, and we as a board are confident our organization is stronger than ever. We need to be strong on behalf of Ohio women, especially since obstacles to abortion access have been piling up in 2013. Given this alarming climate of clinic closures and new proposed restrictions to reproductive healthcare, we need a leader who rouses our passions and directs them toward strengthening an organization that Ohio women have relied on for over two decades. We unanimously agree that Sandy is exactly the leader we need, and we’re so glad she is joining us!
I spoke with Sandy recently and asked her to introduce herself to our supporters.
Sandy, what experience do you bring to the job of board chair?
I’ve been an activist for as long as I can remember. I got my Bachelors in Zoology and used it to provide strategic planning for communities impacted by environmental concerns. As the landscape changed in this field I went back to school for my Masters in Social Work.
During this time I began volunteering at a shelter for battered women and their children. After a period I was hired and worked as an advocate in the courts. Sadly, I learned that the courts don’t necessarily offer justice to women and frequently work against them.
Since then, I’ve spent the last 13 years advocating with allies in the area of violence against women. I believe change occurs through educating and organizing groups to speak out and speak up about issues of oppression, such as reproductive choice.
How did you hear about Women Have Options and why did you become involved?
I heard about WHO/O when a member approached me in 2007. The board was recruiting new members and I was interested. Two weeks later I became ill and was unable to commit. Five years later we come full circle and a friend mentioned she thought I would be a good fit for WHO/O and should consider becoming active again. I’ve been so angry and frustrated about all the horrible, restrictive legislation around reproductive rights that this seemed like the perfect time to jump in with both feet. [Ed: We’re so glad you did!]
What are you most looking forward to about being our board chair?
Let me just say that Nancy leaves some big shoes to fill. I hope to continue the direction WHO/O’s been moving in, increasing the amount of money raised, supporting clinics, and providing information about the dangers of restricting reproductive rights. Women need our support now, more than ever.
Who or what inspires you to work with WHO/O?
I see how policy affects women’s lives on a daily basis. I’ve seen women forced to have an abortion in order to get a divorce. I’ve given clinic referrals to women who were raped, and supported friends who just weren’t ready for a child. There should never be a time when we don’t get to decide when and if motherhood is right for us.
What three words would you use to describe the people who generously donate to support abortion access in Ohio?
Realist. Generous. Movement-makers.
What exciting things can we expect from WHO/O in 2014?
Certainly we’re all looking forward to our annual bowl-a-thon in the spring, one of our favorite events of the year! As the newest member, I’m just glad I get to be a big part of the future for WHO/O.