Susan Hill has died. Below is the press release sent from her clinic.
Susan Hill was a national hero in the fight to protect women's reproductive justice and lived here in NC. She suffered much harassment and violence at the hands of anti-choice extremists.
Susan Hill, Abortion Rights Activist, Dies
FOR RELEASE: Thursday February 4, 2010 at 9:00 pm
FROM: National Women’s Health Organization, Raleigh NC
CONTACT: Lajuan Carpenter 800-532-5383
Susan Hill, 61, of Raleigh died Saturday January 30, 2010, from breast cancer.
Susan Hill gained national prominence as a champion for women’s rights. She was President of the National Women's Health Organization, a group of abortion clinics in Raleigh and other smaller cities throughout the Southeast.
Born and raised in Durham, North Carolina, Hill graduated from Charles E. Jordan High School in 1966, then received a degree in social work from Meredith College in 1970. She went on to be a social worker in Florida, then open the first abortion clinic in the state of Florida. She was a founding member of both the National Abortion Federation and the National Coalition of Abortion Providers.
A longtime owner of women's health clinics, Hill served as plaintiff in over 30 federal and state lawsuits concerning abortion rights, and was a key plaintiff in the NOW v. Scheidler case that charged abortion opponents with using violence, intimidation and extortion to put women's clinics out of business. 4 cases she was involved in went to the Supreme Court and she won them all.
In 2007 Susan Hill received the Nancy Susan Reynolds award -- also known as "North Carolina's Nobel Prize" and the state's highest honor for public advocacy in the face of personal risk. She also won the North Carolina Planned Parenthood Margaret Sanger Award and was a 2009 recipient of NOW’s Woman of Courage award.
Previous awards include:
North Carolina Equity 2000 Carpathian Award Nominee – 2000
North Carolina Planned Parenthood Margaret Sanger Award – 1999
Raleigh NOW Award – 1999
National Abortion Rights Action League Choice Champion – 1995
North Carolina NOW Equality for Women Award – 1994
Fund for Feminist Majority Feminist of the Year Award – 1994
NOW Unsung Hero Award – 1989
Despite suffering from breast cancer, Hill continued to be a dedicated champion for women's reproductive rights. Countless women were able to access abortion care and other reproductive health services thanks to Susan Hill.
After private family services, a public Memorial Service will be planned in the next few weeks. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in her name to the Rex Cancer Center, the National Women’s Health Foundation, or the Feminist Majority Foundation.
Susan Hill’s eloquence on Rachel Maddow, June 9th, 2009:
Nancy Smith Reynolds Award