Sunday, September 26, 2010
NY Times: Dr. William Harrison, Defender of Abortion Rights, Dies at 75, by Douglas Martin:
“Oh, God, doctor, I was hoping it was cancer.”
Those words so affected Dr. William Harrison that for years, he said, he could not repeat them. They made him break down in tears.
The woman who spoke them — black, poor and middle-aged — had come in 1967 to the Arkansas hospital where Dr. Harrison was a medical student in obstetrics. A doctor, after examining her swollen belly, had told her she was pregnant.
Dr. Harrison went on to perform 20,000 or so abortions over three decades, became a frequent target of abortion protesters and spoke out forcefully in national forums. In the 1980s, when the abortion wars raged fiercest in Arkansas, his clinic, the Fayetteville Women’s Clinic, was firebombed, picketed, blockaded and vandalized. Death threats became routine. . . .