Dr. Jane Hodgson

Photo of Dr. Jane HodgsonThe Dr. Jane Hodgson Plaza is an attractive and functional plaza that leads to the entry way of The Building for Women and honors Dr. Jane Hodgson for her dedication to women's lives. Dr. Jane Hodgson was a Minnesota physician who has spent more than 50 years working for full reproductive health care for women.

Jane Hodgson was born in Crookston, MN a daughter of a country physician. Graduating from Carleton College at nineteen, she earned a medical degree from the University of Minnesota in 1939. She continued her medical training at the Jersey City Medical Center (1939-1941) and the Mayo Clinic (1941-1944), becoming a Diplomate of the American Board in Obstetrics and Gynecology in 1949.

Dr. Hodgson opened her office in St. Paul in 1947. Here she learned from her patients the many tragedies associated with unplaneed pregnancies, the inadequacies of contraception, and the mediacla risks of illegal abortions. Frequent tours of duty with Project Hope in third world countries reinforced her growing belief in the necessity of providing all women access to total reproductive health care.

This evolution in thinking culminated in her decision to challenge Minnesota's harsh abortion law in 1970, when she became the only physician in U.S. history to be convicted of performing an abortion in a hospital.

Following the Roe v. Wade decision in 1972, Dr. Hodgson provided help and leadership in the launching of several Twin Cities' abortion clinics. When she realized how many women were making long, difficult journeys to get to the Twin Cities, she founded the Duluth Women's Health Center in 1981. Now located in The Building for Women, the Women's Health Center serves women from northern Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, and southern Ontario. For more than fifteen years Dr. Hodgson regularly made the 300-mile round trip from her home to Duluth in order to provide abortions, since it proved impossible to recruit a local physician to provide services.

An influential activist, she frequently testifies as an expert in courts throughout the U.S. and Canada, and writes and lectures on a broad range of reproductive issues.

She has been married to Dr. Frank Quattlebaum, a retired surgeon and former medical director at St. Paul Ramsey Medical Center, since 1941. They have two daughters.