Dr. Mildred Jefferson (April 4, 1926 to October 15th, 2010) should never be forgotten. Though history books may never contain her name, her deep Christian faith inspired her as a physician and a defender of human life. Her compassion in the form of medical and prolife accomplishments are history-making.
Growing up in the Jim Crow south, Dr. Jefferson refused to be a victim. She knew, first hand, the evil of racism, the oppression of sexism and elitism, and the dehumanizing pseudoscience of eugenics. But she rose above it all. In 1947, she was admitted to Harvard Medical School, and in 1951 became the first black woman to graduate from the school. She was also the first women to become a general surgeon at Boston University Medical Center. And her journey had just begun.
“I became a physician in order to help save lives. I am at once a physician, a citizen, and a woman, and I am not willing to stand aside and allow the 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. Jefferson explains in a 1978 video from the National Right to Life Committee (embedded at the bottom of this article).
According to our conversation with Anne Fox, her friend and President of Massachusetts Citizens for Life (MCFL), Dr. Jefferson was responsible for bringing Ronald Reagan into the pro-life movement. As co-founder of the National Right to Life Committee and MCFL, she is the anathema to the pro-abortion movement, particularly those who conjure up false African-American history in order to bolster their “reproductive justice” propaganda (i.e. SisterSong and Planned Parenthood). Dr. Jefferson, awarded 28 honorary degrees from various prestigious institutions, was unapologetically pro-life and dedicated her life to caring for those in need while exposing the evils of eugenics, Planned Parenthood, and its abortion agenda.
“I would guess that the abortionists have done more to get rid of generations and cripple others than all of the years of slavery and lynchings,” Ebony magazine quoted Dr. Jefferson, in 1978, about her assessment that abortion is genocide in the black community. Even back then, as we do now at The Radiance Foundation, Dr. Jefferson was decrying how more black babies are aborted than born alive. “There are now more abortions than live births in Washington DC, and the same is true for New York City,” she declared. Today, 72% of DC’s abortions are among black women and 18% are among white women even though 47% of the city is black and 45% is white. Thankfully, abortions have been decreasing for years in our nation’s capital while live births have increased. However, New York City was still aborting more black babies in 2015 than were born alive (1,039 aborted for every 1,000 born alive).
We’ll make sure Dr. Jefferson’s name and her life are known to the hundreds of thousands we reach annually. May she rest in peace, knowing that her life will continue to inspire and save millions to come.