Monday, February 20, 2017

Lake George Residents Take Lead in New Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson serves an area larger than some small states. But when creating a campaign to help fund the construction of a new health center in Queensbury, it found its leadership team on Lake George.

Jessica Rubin and Sam Caldwell of Bolton Landing co-chair a Steering Committee that includes Sam’s parents, Ted and Jane Caldwell. Joan and By Lapham, Fish Point summer residents, co-chair an Honorary Committee.

Among the new health center’s supporters are Lauren and Ken Parlin, Hague summer residents who hosted a benefit for the project in December. To a group representing all points on the lake, Ken Parlin made two announcements. First, that the Parlin family would make a sizeable donation in honor of Ken’s late grandmother, Glens Falls psychiatrist Maria Mintz.

And second, they would join with others to secure naming rights to a staff room that would honor another Hague resident, Sheri Delarm Ginn, who worked as a Planned Parenthood community educator before switching career tracks and opening a restaurant.

Co-ordinating these activities is Amy Bloom, a Director of Special Projects for Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson who has her own Lake George connections: she’s a fourth generation summer resident. Her great-grandparents began spending summers on Lake George in the 1940s, camping on Big Burnt Island before settling in Basin Bay.

“I knew Lake George residents would be supportive of the new health center, since it will be in our back yard and serve our community,” said Bloom. “Still, I’ve been particularly impressed by how passionate that support is.”

According to Bloom, the new health center, which will be located near the SUNY Adirondack campus, is expected to see roughly 5,000 patients a year.

“We offer all kinds of preventative and primary care, and the new health center, with more rooms, more flexible space and better parking, will make this a much more user-friendly facility,” said Bloom.

Planned Parenthood currently occupies a converted house in downtown Glens Falls that has outlived its usefulness, said Bloom.

Bloom also acknowledged that many patients had become uncomfortable visiting the downtown clinic.

Although abortions constitute only a tiny fraction of the services offered by Planned Parenthood, patients of all kinds have been intimidated by the anti-abortion activists who operate nearby, some of whom have vowed to force Planned Parenthood to leave the area.

Jane Caldwell was among those who volunteered to work as a “Clinic Escort,” protecting patients from harassment as they entered or left the building.

“Jane has literally walked the walk when it comes to supporting our local Planned Parenthood; she has been a tireless advocate and volunteer,” said Jessica Rubin, who said that the first donation made to the campaign by Sam and her was in honor of Jane Caldwell.

Their donation, she said, “is an investment that ensures that our family’s values of acceptance, compassion, and respect are actively reflected in this special place.”

Sam Caldwell said, “While this is an unspeakably beautiful place to come of age, it can also be a difficult environment for young people struggling with personal issues. It’s important to us that everyone, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, has a safe place where they are respected and can receive sound, nonjudgmental medical care. So we’re proud that Planned Parenthood is growing with the times, providing counseling and services for the LGBTQ community.”

Before moving to Glens Falls with her husband, Dr. Maxwell Mintz, and starting her psychiatric practice, Dr. Maria Mintz worked at the first Planned Parenthood clinic in the nation, the Margaret Sanger Bureau, Ken Parlin said.

His mother, Joan Parlin, noted that as a child, Maria Mintz hoped to become a veterinarian, “but her father said that no one would take their pets to a woman. So she became a physician. Apparently, people are less protective of their humans than they are of their animals.”

Female physicians, however, were such a rarity that as a child in Glens Falls, she would be told, “Of course your mother’s not a doctor, she’s a nurse,” Joan Parlin said.

Maria Mintz “would be so honored to have a have her name on a counseling room in the new clinic,” Parlin said, adding that her mother was a supporter of women and girls not only as a physician but as a volunteer, working on behalf of several local organizations.

According to Amy Bloom, Planned Parenthood needs to raise more than $1 million to finance the reconstruction of the new health center, which is expected to open this spring.

Photos from above: Joan Lapham, Amy Bloom, Jessica Rubin, Sam Caldwell; and The Parlin family.

A version of this story was first published in the Lake George Mirror.

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Anthony F. Hall is the editor and publisher of the Lake George Mirror.

Anthony grew up in Warrensburg and after an education that included studying with beat poet Gregory Corso on an island in the Aegean, crewing a schooner in Hawaii, traveling through Greece and Turkey studying Byzantine art and archeology, and a stint at Lehman Brothers, he returned to the Adirondacks and took a job with legendary state senator Ron Stafford.

In 1998, Anthony and his wife Lisa acquired the Lake George Mirror, once part of a chain of weekly newspapers owned by his father Rob Hall.

Established in the 1880s, the Mirror is America’s oldest resort newspaper.

15 Responses

  1. Charles Baudinet says:

    “Although abortions constitute only a tiny fraction of the services offered by Planned Parenthood”…categorically untrue. Or to put it in a more direct way, an absolute lie. Abortions are Planned Parenthood.

  2. Bellota says:

    Bravo to the thoughtful and caring citizens of the Lake George area. Providing services to women of the area is critical to their health.

    • roamin with broman says:

      Thoughtful and caring people don’t get abortions.

      • John Warren says:

        Thoughtful and caring people don’t tell others what to do with their own bodies.

      • kathy says:

        You are not thoughtful and caring to say that. How mean and cruel. Have you no compassion for those who may believe they have no other choice or who now may have regretted any procedure undergone in years past.
        How many unwanted and congenitally deformed children have you adopted. And do you support welfare services for those women who had their babies and were abandoned by the father or victims of rape and or incest?

  3. roamin with broman says:

    According to the organization’s annual report for 2014-2015, they only provided 17,419 instances of prenatal care services, compared to 323,999 abortions.

    • Boreas says:

      Misleading & cherry-picking the numbers. These are pregnancy services only – a small part of what PP provides. Many patients have their own OB-GYN, so don’t seek PP for pre-natal care. But there aren’t a lot of OB’s that perform abortions so PP provides that service – hence the disparity.

      But PP provides millions of people with OTHER health services – counseling, birth control, vasectomies, cancer screening, etc., etc.. They have been for 100 years. I have known dozens of men & women who have received services from PP – none of them abortions.

  4. Charlie S says:

    Our prisons are filled with violent felons who were unwanted as children,abused as children sexually and mentally…by parents who should have never had children in the first place. This is a touchy subject as I love children but who are we to tell women what to do with their bodies? I’m curious as to the level of concern from these anti abortion folks for those babies that don’t get aborted, those who are born into a world not of their own making who become homeless, prostitutes, addicted to drugs, criminals, etc…. because they had/have parents who just don’t care! Does your caring stop once the fetus is born?

    • Balian the Cat says:


      The answer to that is almost certainly yes. Once they are born, the fable goes that the children exist in a world of “sin” and some other set of hocus-pocus is required to make them whole. Reality is no longer essential to the conversation. If they grow up to be a different color, or LGBTQ, or Hindu, or something that doesn’t fit the profile for the Kingdom of Heaven, then nobody cares what happens to them. It is much better for some poor soul to suffer in squalor, oppression, from a debilitating disease, or deformity, than it is to sidestep the controlling grip of biblically guided pro-life meddling into their unfortunate mothers affairs. After they are born, however, and the control has been exercised – prison, the death penalty, castigation from society based on made-up morays – that’s all cool.

      • kathy says:

        Just tragic enough to be unwanted and I’m sure many will push past the circumstances of their birth and childhood but no one is pro abortion. To deny the choice to women who can only afford PP services and allow only those who can afford private abortions the right to decide once again divides us by class and income.

  5. Charlie S says:

    “It is much better for some poor soul to suffer in squalor, oppression, from a debilitating disease, or deformity, than it is to sidestep the controlling grip of biblically guided pro-life meddling into their unfortunate mothers affairs.”

    People get religious because they have no place else to go…or so they think. One of the penalties for having a closed mind Balian.

    “To deny the choice to women who can only afford PP services and allow only those who can afford private abortions the right to decide once again divides us by class and income.”

    So true. The rich will always be able to afford abortions. So,in a sense abortions wont go away…they will only be available to the rich while the poor will suffer and die trying to get an illegal abortion….if they reverse Roe vs Wade. Whatever happened to the separation of church and state?

    • Boreas says:


      Also, keep in mind who can afford to adopt. I am sure many of those people would prefer a baby from the good old US of A. Take away PP’s birth control counseling, contraception, and abortions – more unwanted babies!! Sound like a plan?

      The religious contradictions WRT abortion and adoption also confuse me, but I probably shouldn’t get into that here.

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