NAF Mourns the Loss of Dr. Millie Hanson
We are sad to report the passing of longtime NAF member Dr. Mildred “Millie” Hanson. Millie was a founding member of NAF, a women’s health pioneer, and beloved colleague. She died late the night of March 4, 2015 in Minneapolis, MN.
Millie was truly a legend within our community, and one of the first women physicians to provide abortion care. As a young gynecologist practicing before Roe v. Wade, Millie saw the horrors of illegal abortion and became committed to ensuring women could access safe abortion care. As she described in a 2008 interview:
“I found myself becoming angry that women had to accept an unwanted pregnancy. I was frustrated that there was such an easy thing to do that was within our grasp technically, and yet we were denying it to women, and women were dying because of it. It seemed so unconscionable that we, as doctors, were allowing this to happen, when there clearly was an easy, efficient, cost-effective, safe procedure to terminate unwanted pregnancies…If Roe v. Wade were repealed, I think I’d go right on doing abortions…And I would frankly just wait for them to come and get me, because I would want to demonstrate that this is a detriment to the health of women.”
Millie was the Medical Director at Planned Parenthood of Minnesota and South Dakota for 30 years, while also running her own private abortion practice in Minneapolis where she still worked in the last years of her life. Millie was an admired colleague and dear friend to many of us. She will be greatly missed by the NAF community. Our heartfelt condolences go out to her family and friends during this difficult time.