Katie Early, Ipas’ longest-serving employee, helped put Ipas on the global stage as a bold advocate for abortion access.
Katie Early, Ipas’ longest-serving employee, died on June 26, surrounded by loved ones. Early’s extraordinary leadership and vision helped shape Ipas programs, fundraising, workplace culture—as well as Ipas’ visibility on the global stage as a bold advocate for abortion access.
She joined Ipas in 1980 and went on to serve in several key leadership roles for more than 30 years, before retiring in 2019 in the role of senior director of development.
“Katie’s visionary leadership saw Ipas through decades of innovation as we fought at the local, national and global levels to raise awareness that abortion access is a human right,” said Anu Kumar, Ipas president and CEO. “Her tenure at Ipas really tracked the evolution of the global abortion rights movement, in which Ipas was instrumental—and Katie’s devotion and strategic guidance was crucial to that success.”
When Early first joined Ipas, the word ‘abortion’ was barely mentioned in the fields of family planning and women’s health due to abortion stigma and gender inequity in politics worldwide. By the time Early retired, a robust global movement for abortion access was gaining momentum and achieving historic law change in countries around the world.
Rest in power, Katie Early.
U.S. democracy is at a dangerous inflection point—from the demise of abortion rights, to a lack of pay equity and parental leave, to skyrocketing maternal mortality, and attacks on trans health. Left unchecked, these crises will lead to wider gaps in political participation and representation. For 50 years, Ms. has been forging feminist journalism—reporting, rebelling and truth-telling from the front-lines, championing the Equal Rights Amendment, and centering the stories of those most impacted. With all that’s at stake for equality, we are redoubling our commitment for the next 50 years. In turn, we need your help, Support Ms. today with a donation—any amount that is meaningful to you. For as little as $5 each month, you’ll receive the print magazine along with our e-newsletters, action alerts, and invitations to Ms. Studios events and podcasts. We are grateful for your loyalty and ferocity.