We published a news obituary Friday regarding Dr. Jane Hodgson, who died last Monday at the age of 91. The headline was, "Abortion-rights activist dies," and here was the lead:
Dr. Jane Hodgson, a Mayo-trained gynecologist who was convicted in 1970 of performing an abortion in violation of the state's then 80-year-old abortion ban law and who championed abortion rights for years, died Monday. She was 91.
Seems fair enough to me.
The Associated Press and other news orgnaizations picked up the story as well, and here's how it ran in the International Herald Tribune online, with the headline, " Dr. Jane Hodgson, first physician in U.S. convicted of illegally performing abortion in a hospital, dies":
ROCHESTER, Minnesota -- Dr. Jane Hodgson, the first physician in the United States to be convicted of illegally performing an abortion in a hospital, died Oct. 23. She was 91.
She was convicted in 1970 of defying Minnesota's abortion ban by performing the procedure in St. Paul, a ruling overturned after the 1973 U.S. Supreme Court decision that legalized abortion.
The Minnesota chapter of the National Abortion and Reproductive Rights Action League named its reproductive freedom award in Hodgson's honor, and she also promoted the establishment of clinics in Minnesota and elsewhere for performing abortions.
Tim Stanley, a spokesman for Planned Parenthood of Minnesota and the Dakotas, called Hodgson "an international and national icon."
Over the years, her opponents derided her as a "baby killer" ...
She developed abortion clinics all over, including one in Washington, D.C., and traveled the world to promote public health, especially in poorer nations.
I know these stories went to different audiences, but which one would you say is more fair?
Also, if anyone cares to do research on this point, I'm intrigued by the assertion in the Herald Tribune lead that Hodgson was "the first physician in the United States to be convicted of illegally performing an abortion in a hospital." Where did that information come from? (Maybe the P-B -- I've got other fish to fry and won't go to the archives or clip file to check this out, but it's a hard-to-prove point.) Were other physicians charged but not convicted? Were others charged or convicted for abortions outside of hospitals? (I'm assuming the answer is yes.) And why is this in the lead?