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The advocacy arm of Planned Parenthood announced Tuesday that it has chosen Mike Murray as its new executive director.

As access to abortion is challenged across the nation, Murray will be on the leadership team of Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin, which works to support policies that ensure health care access through public education, advocacy and election work.

Murray previously held positions as policy director for the Wisconsin Alliance for Women’s Health and policy specialist for the Wisconsin Coalition Against Sexual Assault. Murray is also on staff at Planned Parenthood of Wisconsin, but will focus on outreach and advocacy in his new role.

“In this moment, when attacks on health care access have become the norm, I pledge to fight for Wisconsin women and families,” Murray said in a statement.

Tanya Atkinson, president of the advocacy arm, said she is “thrilled” to have Murray on the team.

“Mike has a long history of supporting policies that move Wisconsin forward,” Atkinson said. “[Our organization] will benefit from his expertise and leadership.”

Atkinson pointed to Murray’s expertise in reproductive health policy, government relations and social justice, as indicators that he will succeed in the position.

“I am honored to join the excellent team at [Planned Parenthood Advocates of Wisconsin],” Murray said. “Throughout my career, I have been passionate about making sure people have access to the health care they need, and I’m excited to continue this vital work.”

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Emily Hamer is a general assignment reporter for the Wisconsin State Journal. She joined the paper in April 2019 and was formerly an investigative reporting intern at the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism.