Faye Wattleton was working as a student nurse at Harlem Hospital when one particular case drew her attention to the importance of safe and legal abortion. It was “a really beautiful seventeen-year-old girl” she recalls. “She and her mother had decided to induce an abortion by inserting a Lysol douche into her uterus. It killed her.” That’s when Faye became a reproductive rights activist, holding various positions in public health administration and the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), before being elected in 1978 to the PPFA presidency. Ironically, Faye was giving birth when she won!
She carries the triple honors of being the first woman, the first African American, and the youngest person ever to head up PPFA. Over the years, she has worked valiantly
to fight the barriers constantly being put in the way—President Reagan’s “squeal rule” to notify parents of distribution of birth control or information, the “gag rule” preventing abortion counseling, and the Supreme Court’s challenge to Roe v. Wade. She resigned the presidency in 1992. Pointing to her contributions, Arthur J. Kopp of People for the American Way noted, “her remarkable ability to communicate difficult issues have made her a giant in the ongoing battle to preserve Americans’ fundamental liberties.”
Original post found here.