In Midst of Komen Ruckus, Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast Has Rare Leadership Change

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Planned Parenthood Gulf Coast is not only one of the largest regional centers in the U.S., but it has been remarkably stable in its leadership.

Peter J. Durkin has led the organization for 27 often-tumultuous years.

And now, in the midst of yet another high-profile fight, the organization is seeing a changing of the guard.

The Internet has been aflame with discussions of how the Susan G. Komen Foundation has cut funding to Planned Parenthood in a move that pro-choicers see as a slap in the face.

Many have decided to end or reduce their donations to the breast-cancer-fighting group and instead give directly to Planned Parenthood.

It's a big moment for PPGC, and starting March 1 any actions will come under a new leader.

True to its philosophy of keeping stable, though, things likely won't be changing much. Replacing Durkin as CEO will be Melaney Linton, who has been with PPGC for 24 years.

"Last year I made the decision to retire and I was committed to a seamless and orderly transition in staff leadership," Durkin says. "I am very pleased our Board selected Melaney. Melaney is exceptionally well qualified and I am confident she will boldly lead our important mission forward in our regional service area."

Linton says he plans to keep on keeping on.

"My passion for the mission and values of Planned Parenthood are what drive me to make responsible decisions for our organization, to ensure that young women will always have a place to turn," she said. "I owe a debt to past generations and it is through my work at Planned Parenthood that I strive to pay it forward to future generations."

Paying it forward, for the moment, will include dealing with the Komen issue.

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