2017 Lader Lecture: May 31st, 2017

Speaker:  Willie Parker, MD, MPH, MSc
Board Chairman, Physicians for Reproductive Health

Willie J. Parker, MD, MPH, MSc, is a reproductive justice advocate who travels as an abortion provider in Alabama and Georgia. He holds a BA from Berea College in Kentucky, an MD from the University of Iowa, a Masters of Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health, and a Master of Science from the University of Michigan. He completed residencies in obstetrics and gynecology at the University of Cincinnati and preventive medicine at the University of California, San Francisco, and was an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer with the Centers for Disease Control. Dr. Parker served as assistant professor of obstetrics and gynecology in the John A. Burns School of Medicine at the University of Hawaii prior to completing a fellowship in Family Planning at the University of Michigan in 2008. He is both board certified in obstetrics and gynecology and trained in preventive medicine.

Dr. Parker’s more recent work has focused on violence against women, sexual assault, and reproductive rights and justice through advocacy and provision of contraceptive and abortion services. Most notably Dr. Parker is a recipient of the 2013 Physicians for Reproductive Health Dr. George Tiller Provider Award, the 2015 Helen Rodriguez-Trias Social Justice Award from the American Public Health Association, and the 2016 Dr. David Gunn Lifetime Achievement Award from the Abortion Care Network.  He also was recently honored by the United Nations Office of Human Rights as one of 12 Women’s Human Rights Defenders on the occasion of the 20th anniversary of the United Nations’ Fourth World Conference on Women. He is also a recipient of Planned Parenthood’s 2015 Margaret Sanger Award. Dr. Parker is a 2007-2008 Leadership Training Initiative Fellow. He joined the Physicians for Reproductive Health board in November 2007 and is the current Chair.

The Lawrence Lader Lectureship on Family Planning and Reproductive Rights
 at Harvard Medical School was established by a generous gift from advocate and author Lawrence Lader. The Lader Lecture creates an annual public forum to spotlight the broad range of medical, ethical, social, and scientific issues surrounding human reproduction. The series began in 1997 when Faye Wattleton, former head of Planned Parenthood, spoke on Reproductive Freedom for the 21st Century.

Lawrence Lader has been described by Betty Friedan as the “father of abortion rights.” A 1941 graduate of Harvard College, he was the founding chair of NARAL, the National Abortion Rights Action League. Mr. Lader is a journalist and author of 11 books including Abortion, which was quoted nine times in the US Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision; The Margaret Sanger Story and the Fight for Birth Control, the first published biography of Margaret Sanger; and most recently A Private Matter: RU-486 and the Abortion Crisis. In 1975 he founded Abortion Rights Mobilization, which today is at the center of the struggle to make the French abortion pill RU-486 available to American women.

Past Lader Lecturers

2016    Michele Bratcher Goodwin, JD - "Policing The Womb: The New Politics of Reproduction"
2015    Maggie Little, BPhil, PhD – “Research with Pregnant Women: a Moral Imperative"
2014    Lynn M. Paltrow, JD – “Roe v. Wade Today: Reproductive Justice in the Age of Mass Incarceration”
2013    Anne Drapkin Lyerly, MD, MA – “Getting Beyond the Birth Wars: In Search of A Good Birth”
2010    Nicholas D. Kristof – “Half the Sky: A Journalist Reports on Women Around the World“
2008    Debora L. Spar, PhD – “The Baby Business: What’s Wrong with the Current Market for Reproductive Medicine and How to Make it Better“
2006    Nawal M. Nour, MD, MPH – “Female Genital Cutting: Health, Ethics and Rights“
2005    Kate Michelman – “Facing a Future without Roe“
2004    Carolyn Westhoff, MD – “RU486, Plan B, and the Pharmacological Revolution in Reproductive Rights“
2003    Mark Hughes, MD, PhD – “Reproductive Genetics: The Science, the Medicine and the Ethical Challenges“
2001    Phillip G. Stubblefield, MD – “Safe Abortion: Will There Be Providers?
2000    LeRoy Carhart, MD – “‘Partial-Birth Abortion’, the Supreme Court, and Physician Autonomy“
2000    Daniel Callahan, PhD & Sidney Callahan, PhD – “Pro-Life, Pro-Choice: A 30-Year Marital Dispute “
1999    Adrienne Asch, PhD – “Licensing Parents: Fertility Clinics as Social Police“
1997    Faye Wattleton – “Reproductive Freedom for the 21st Century“