Women's Health -- Where We Stand and What's at Risk, an Educational Event

Kailua, Oahu, Hawaii … On October 17, 2017, the Agents of Change hosted an educational event at the Mid-Pacific Country Club focused on Women's Health – Where We Stand and What's at Risk. Three speakers from Planned Parenthood spoke to a group of more than 50 guests before opening the floor to questions. (The speakers’ complete bios are below.)

We learned that Hawaii is the friendliest state when it comes to women's health and that Planned Parenthood aims to help develop model legislation that can lead the way and benefit other states. Hawaii also has the best sex education law on the books – all public school students under the Department of Education’s jurisdiction receive sex education unless they opt out (Note: This law does not apply to private schools). We heard about three exciting educational ventures that Planned Parenthood has in motion including global activities, teen councils, and LiFT (Linking Families and Teens). And we learned about opportunities to get involved at various levels from families and parents to volunteers and advocates, all participating in research studies.

Learn more about the work Planned Parenthood is doing to serve women in our community.


Christine Charbonneau is the CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands and has been with Planned Parenthood for more than 28 years. PPGNHI operates 28 health centers in Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, and Western Washington and provides medical services and sexuality education to more than 90,000 women, men, and teenagers each year. In her tenure, Chris has changed laws and health policy in a number of states, proved that it is sex discrimination for employers to fail to cover contraceptives if they cover other pharmaceuticals in employee health plans, co-founded Planned Parenthood Online and is the Board Chair of Afaxys, an organization she helped to found to secure supplies of affordable contraceptives for Planned Parenthood affiliates, health departments and health organizations serving low-income women.

Laurie Field is the Hawaii Legislative Director and Public Affairs Manager for Planned Parenthood Votes Northwest and Hawaii, the political and advocacy arm of Planned Parenthood in Hawaii. In this role, she advocates for public policies while fostering and preserving a favorable social and political climate that together will serve to protect and promote sexual and reproductive health care, education and justice in Hawaii. Laurie earned her B.A in Social Work from the University of Iowa and her J.D. from Loyola Law School. She formerly served as staff attorney and legislative program manager for the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii.

Sonia Blackiston is the Director of Education for Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. Sonia currently oversees Education programs in Hawaii, Alaska and Idaho as well as the LiFT (Linking Families and Teens) and Improving the Lives of Teens (ILT) federal projects. She has led the education team in Hawaii for more than a decade and provided education and training to youth and families locally, nationally and internationally.