NIRH Announces Honorees for 2024 Champions of Choice Awards Luncheon

Power of Philanthropy Award – Lawrence B. Benenson
Andrea N. Miller Fighting Forward Award – Pamela Merritt
Fearless Provider Award – Dr. Colleen McNicholas

NEW YORK, April 15, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — The National Institute for Reproductive Health (NIRH) and NIRH Action Fund (AF) is proud to announce the honorees for the 2024 Champions of Choice awards luncheon to be held on Wednesday, May 8, 2024, from 12:00pm2:00pm ET at Ziegfeld Ballroom (141 W 54th St.) in New York City.  An annual gathering to support reproductive rights, the afternoon will recognize individuals, organizations, and abortion providers for their unwavering dedication to advocating for reproductive health, rights, and justice.

Lizz Winstead (comedian, radio/television personality, activist, podcast host) and Joyelle Johnson (award-nominated standup comedian, actress, writer, activist) will serve as emcees for an audience comprised of prominent leaders in philanthropy, business, media, and politics.  The 2024 Champions of Choice honorees are Lawrence B. Benenson (Philanthropist), Pamela Merritt, (Executive Director of Medical Students for Choice) and Dr. Colleen McNicholas DO, MSCI, FACOG (Abortion Care Provider). Honorary event chairs include Rania Batrice, Amy Brenneman, Abigail Disney, Joan Fallon, Kathryn Kolbert, Cindi Leive, Lara Marcon, Aletha Maybank, Dawn Porter, Alysia Reiner, Anika Noni Rose, Melissa Silverstein, Dr. Ron Simons, Joy Gorman Wettels, and Lizz Winstead

“We are thrilled for this gathering of powerhouse advocates, activists, philanthropists, movers, and shakers,” said Aisha Mills, interim president of NIRH and NIRH AF. “The tides are turning in the fight for reproductive freedom, and we are embracing a new generation of advocacy, full of bold ideas, proactive approaches, and unapologetic demands. Champions of Choice will illuminate our commitment to stay energized and mobilized.”

Champions of Choice supports NIRH and NIRH AF, trailblazing national organizations dedicated to fighting for proactive state and local reproductive health, rights, and justice policies. Despite abortion bans at some point in pregnancy across 41 states and the escalating criminalization of pregnant individuals, the fight for reproductive rights continues unabated. As the anti-abortion movement persists, so do NIRH and NIRH AF. A new era of national advocacy demands unwavering determination and increased public visibility in the pursuit of fair and equitable reproductive freedom.

What distinguishes NIRH and NIRH AF is their proactive stance on enacting legislation to ensure equitable access to crucial healthcare while also strengthening safeguards against efforts to limit abortion, contraception, and maternal health services.

The advocacy model of the organization emphasizes prioritizing the requirements of marginalized and historically overlooked groups, such as Black women and communities, Indigenous peoples, people of color, people with low income, youth, and immigrants. Through amplifying the voices of those most impacted by barriers to healthcare, NIRH and NIRH AF aim to establish comprehensive and fair reproductive health policies that respect the rights and dignity of every individual.

Previous Champions of Choice honorees include Congresswoman Ayanna Pressley, United States Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, former NYC Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Whoopi Goldberg, Amy Schumer, Cecily Strong, Jameela Jamil, Sophia Bush Lizz Winstead along with courageous abortion providers Dr. DeShawn Taylor, Kwajelyn Jackson, and Amy Hagstrom Miller

For additional details about Champions of Choice or to secure tickets or tables, please visit For further information about the organization, please visit and

Daphne Ortiz
Statement PR