Joan Dunlop, Women's Health Advocate, Passes Away At 78

Joan Dunlop, who had an integral part in convincing the United Nations that a woman's right to say no to sex was an essential human right, has died at 78 of lung cancer. Her interest in reproductive rights began as a young woman in London when she had an illegal abortion, something she would later confide in a job interview as an advisor to John D. Rockefeller III (she got the job). Dunlop also served as president of the International Women's Health Coalition from 1984 to 1996 and vice president of public affairs for Planned Parenthood in New York later in life.

Another interest was population control; if women across the globe had more autonomy and a better standard of living, asserted Dunlop, they themselves would be able to decide how many children they wanted to bear. For her part, she was "never faintly interested" in having children.

She frequently accused the GOP and the Vatican of using anti-abortion campaigns as an "organizing tool" to promote a much broader political agenda:

""It's about getting people onto the street. It's getting political activism for a much broader purpose... To give the unborn child - I don't care what stage of gestation they are - preference over the woman in whom parents, teachers, society, culture has deeply invested, and say that investment has less value than a bunch of cells, is just to me an outrage."

Roe v. World definitely takes a hit from her passing, but at least she won't be around to see stuff like this.

'Joan Dunlop, Advocate for Women's Health Rights, Dies at 78' [NY Times]