Woman of the Week: Jane Hodgson

This weeks woman is Jane Hodgson. The only doctor ever convicted for performing an abortion, Dr. Jane Hodgson agreed to perform the procedure in order to challenge the law in her home state of Minnesota. In 1970, Hodgson performed an abortion on a 23-year-old married mother of three children who had contracted a condition called rubella, which can cause serious birth defects in a baby. The law in Minnesota at the time stated that all abortions were illegal unless the fetus was a threat to the mother’s life. This was the first time in medical history a licensed physician was arrested and convicted for performing an abortion. Hodgson’s conviction was overturned once the Supreme Court case, Roe V. Wade was heard. Hodgson used her name in other abortion rights cases, including one in challenging a Minnesota state law that teenagers must notify a parent of an abortion procedure. Hodgson provided reproductive health care to women for up to 50 years.

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