Kenneth C. Edelin

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Biographical Information

"Kenneth C. Edelin, MD, has dedicated his life to ensuring that women have access to safe and legal reproductive health care services. In 1973, Dr. Edelin became the first African American to be named chief resident in obstetrics and gynecology at Boston City Hospital. The following year, after performing a legal second-trimester abortion, he was indicted for manslaughter and convicted by an all-white jury (nine men and three women) in 1975. In 1976, the verdict was overturned by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Dr. Edelin’s triumph over those who sought to impose their personal religious and political views as the law of the land is still powerfully relevant, and was graphically described in his book, Broken Justice: A True Story of Race, Sex and Revenge in a Boston Courtroom.

"Dr. Edelin went on to become chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Boston University School of Medicine, director of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Boston City Hospital, and gynecologist-in-chief at Boston University Hospital. From 1990–1992, he served as chairperson of Planned Parenthood Federation of America. One of the heroes of the reproductive rights movement, Dr. Edelin’s lifelong commitment to women’s health and rights truly embody the values and courage of Margaret Sanger. " [1]

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  1. Kenneth C. Edelin, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, accessed November 25, 2011.