Elizabeth Blackwell On Abortion

Elizabeth Blackwell was the first American woman to earn it M.D. her decision to become a doctor was prompted, at least in part, by her passionate opposition to abortion. After learning of the New York abortionist Mdm.Restell, she wrote in her diary:

“The gross perversion and destruction of motherhood by the abortionist filled me with indignation and awakened active antagonism. That the honorable term “female physician” should be exclusively applied to those women who carry on this shocking trade seemed to me a horror. It was an utter degradation of what might and should become a noble position for women… I finally determined to do what I could to “redeem the hells” and especially that one form of hell thus forced upon my notice.”

Ironically, at least one United States abortion provider named their clinic the Elizabeth Blackwell Center, despite the pro-life stance of their namesake.

Quoted in “Swimming Against the Tide: Feminist Dissent on the Issue of Abortion” edited by Angela Kennedy (Dublin, Ireland: Four Courts Press, 1997) 15

Original source Ross, I. “Child of Destiny: the Life Story Of the First Woman Doctor” (New York: Harper & Brothers, 1949) 88

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