NRLC Honors Dr. Mildred Fay Jefferson, the first African-American woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School, and NRLC President from 1975-1978

“I am at once a physician, a citizen, and a woman, and I am not willing to stand aside and allow this concept of expendable human lives to turn this great land of ours into just another exclusive reservation where only the perfect, the privileged, and the planned have the right to live.” — Dr. Mildred Jefferson

Dr. Mildred Jefferson
Photo: Barry AU H2O

February is Black History Month. In that spirit National Right to Life especially honors the African-American pioneers of the pro-life movement such Dr. Mildred Fay Jefferson, the first African-American woman to graduate from Harvard Medical School, who served as NRLC president from 1975-1978.

Dr. Jefferson died October 15, 2010, at age 84. The video tribute linked to below was shown at the 41st Annual National Right to Life Convention June 23, 2011, in Jacksonville, Florida.

Please set aside a few minutes to watch this powerful presentation, brilliantly and lovingly put together by Derrick Jones, NRL’s Director of Communication. You have to hear Dr. Jefferson in her own voice to appreciate why she was a powerful orator and debater.

Here is the memorable final paragraph from the letter Dr. Jefferson wrote for the 1977 NRLC Convention book:

“We are speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves; defending those who cannot defend themselves and fighting for those who cannot fight for themselves. We will win the battle for life because we must. But when we win, that victory will not be for ourselves—but for America, the world, and all mankind.”

The video can be seen at www.youtube.com/watch?v=UB3o-QazcNg