Frequently Asked Questions
How does the Guttmacher Institute fulfill its mission?
The Guttmacher Institute provides reliable, balanced, nonpartisan information on sexual activity, contraception, abortion and childbearing. This involves—and has involved for more than four decades—a commitment to identifying key questions, collecting and analyzing data to answer them and publishing the answers. It entails mining government data for new findings, surveying individuals, and making sense of and reaching new and key ongoing audiences with the results of research and policy analysis. It also means participating in interviews with the media, testifying before federal and state legislative bodies and in court cases, and working with groups and individuals to provide information.
How does the Guttmacher Institute determine its priorities?
In developing individual initiatives, the Guttmacher Institute anticipates social, political and legal conditions that will propel issues to the forefront of public attention. Each current effort builds on those of the past. The process is a cyclical one, in which public policy developments lead to research and then to communication of findings, recommendations and ideas. The Institute strives to provide information that will have multiple uses at the national, state and local levels—and, whenever possible, internationally. By actively seeking the cooperation and advice of other organizations and researchers, the Institute encourages collaborative endeavors that will serve its mission, increase its effectiveness and avoid duplication of effort.
How does the Guttmacher Institute publicize new information?
The Guttmacher Institute informs its various audiences—policymakers, activists, health care professionals, researchers and the media—through its highly regarded research journals, Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health and International Perspectives on Sexual and Reproductive Health; its public policy journal, the Guttmacher Policy Review, its Web site, www.guttmacher.org, and its social media presence at facebook.com/Guttmacher and twitter.com/Guttmacher. The Institute also makes new findings and analyses available through special reports, professional presentations and personal contacts. With each new publication, the Guttmacher Institute highlights key findings in news releases and electronic mailing list announcements and distills information for use in fact sheets, policy papers, slide presentations and short videos and infographics.
The Institute's overall program is guided by a diverse, 39-member Board of Directors, who are knowledgeable in the fields of law, medicine, research, public education, government, finance and program administration. Numerous issue- and project-oriented advisory groups help the Guttmacher Institute to identify and address public policy questions that need to be answered and to ensure that its research meets the highest scientific standards and its findings and reports are relevant and useful. Articles in the Institute's domestic and international journals undergo blinded peer review. The Guttmacher Institute neither accepts direct project support from profit-making organizations that might benefit from its findings nor allows specific funding agencies to influence its agenda.
What is Guttmacher's relationship with Planned Parenthood?
When Guttmacher was founded (as the Center for Family Planning Program Development) in 1968, it was initially housed within the corporate structure of Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA). Its program, however, was independently developed and overseen by a National Advisory Council separate from the PPFA Board of Directors. In 1977, Guttmacher incorporated as an entirely independent nonprofit policy research institute with its own Board, but remained a special affiliate of PPFA. Over the years, the Institute has received financial support from PPFA, as it has from a wide range of other entities—see “How is the Guttmacher Institute funded?” below. In 2007, Guttmacher’s special affiliation status with PPFA was terminated, and PPFA’s financial support to the Institute, then at $395,000 (3.3% of Guttmacher’s total budget), was phased out over the following three years. In 2010, PPFA’s final contribution in support of the Institute’s program, in the amount of $75,000, constituted 0.6% of Guttmacher’s nearly $13 million budget. In 2013, PPFA made a one-time contribution of $50,000 to the Cory L. Richards Memorial Scholarship Fund; this gift did not support the Institute’s programmatic work.
Who was Alan Guttmacher?
The Institute was named to honor a distinguished obstetrician-gynecologist, author and leader in reproductive rights, Alan F. Guttmacher. During his presidency of Planned Parenthood Federation of America in the late 1960s and early 1970s, Dr. Guttmacher saw the need for the institution that now bears his name and nurtured its development within the Federation. More about Alan Guttmacher.
Who was Frederick Jaffe?
Frederick S. Jaffe was the Guttmacher Institute’s first president, from 1968 (when the Institute was founded as the Center for Family Planning Program Development) until his death in 1978. Among the Institute’s enduring successes during Mr. Jaffe’s tenure as president were its role in helping to create a national network of family planning clinics and its leadership in putting the issue of teen pregnancy on the policy agenda (see our 2008 Annual Report for more details). Some antiabortion activists have attempted to falsely link Mr. Jaffe to coercive population control measures by taking out of context parts of a memo he wrote in 1969. However, Mr. Jaffe’s memo merely summarized various population control measures others had proposed at the time; he did not endorse or otherwise condone coercive measures (the full memo is available here). Frederick Jaffe passed away in 1978 at age 52, in the prime of his career. A 1978 testimonial by then-Congressman James Scheuer (D-NY) in the Congressional Record honors Mr. Jaffe as the nation’s “most outstanding intellectual leader in the field of rational analysis of policies affecting fertility” whose “goal was that every child be wanted, loved, and healthy.” For more information on Frederick S. Jaffe, see his Wikipedia entry.
How is the Guttmacher Institute funded?
The Guttmacher Institute's budget of approximately $17 million supports its U.S. and international research, publications, information outreach and public policy activities. The Institute relies on the generosity of individuals, private foundations, U.S. and international government grants and global organizations for support of its programs. More about the Institute’s sources of funding.
How can you help?
By joining others who support the Guttmacher Institute, you can transform information into action. Your dollars help us reach out to educators, health care providers, legislators, grassroots activists, policymakers, the media and the public worldwide. Because the Guttmacher Institute does not accept assistance from groups or companies that might want to influence our findings, we rely on the generosity of informed individuals like you to enable our continued examination of controversial but important public health issues. Donate Now.