Women’s History Month Highlight: Susan Hill

Hannah Osborne, Campus Organizer at NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina 

Susan Hill, a Durham native, a social worker, an abortion provider, an advocate, and a resilient and compassionate human being, worked tirelessly for the reproductive freedom ALL women. Weeks after the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion, Susan worked with others to start and open the doors of the first abortion clinic in Florida. She was a woman of action. In her lifetime, she defended the freedom of thousands of women. At NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina, we work to protect and advance the reproductive rights of women and families in our state. Her work serves as daily inspiration for us. Susan left an incredible legacy. It is our goal to make her work a truly living legacy. So, on this final day of Women’s History Month, we honor, celebrate, and remember Susan Hill.

Susan Hill fought to secure the rights of all women. I am grateful for her efforts, and I am here to defend her work. Based on recent events, it is clear that we cannot take human rights for granted. Just last week our state legislature introduced Senate Bill 604, containing new restrictions on abortion providers. Roe V. Wade did more than grant me equality to decide what is best for my body, it secured my freedom. But it did not secure every woman’s freedom. Susan Hill understood that the right to have an abortion does not guarantee the ability to access that right. So, in 1975 Susan established the National Women’s Health Organization, a group of abortion clinics in the most underserved areas of the country. With this work, she laid the legal foundation for access to abortion services around the United States.

Susan Hill 1-thumb-225x324-9092This blog has merely touched on Susan Hill’s work and impact. I encourage you to read more about her legacy. In addition, NARAL Pro-Choice North Carolina invites you to join us for our 5th Annual Spring into Action: an evening in honor of Susan Hill. Dr. Willie Parker, one of two heroic doctors who travel to Mississippi’s last remaining abortion clinic to provide abortion care to women across the Deep South, will be this year’s keynote speaker. Like Susan Hill, Dr. Parker is unrelenting in his commitment to helping women and families, even in the face of grave danger.​ We will also present the 2015 Susan Hill Award to Dr. Ward Cates for his work his work as a researcher and tireless champion for access to safe and legal abortion care.

For Women’s History Month, we honor Susan Hill for establishing clinics across the South in the most underserved areas, protecting the freedom of women, and fighting for access. In her work, she encountered countless obstacles and faced personal danger, including death threats and harassment. Yet, she kept working! She kept working for the freedom of all women. Like Susan, we must keep working. Let us honor Susan and her legacy through our work.

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