First Wave Feminists- Dr. Charlotte Denman Lozier

Dr. Charlotte Denman Lozier (1844-1870) earned her medical degree from the controversial NY Medical College for Women, which advocated homeopathy and preventative medicine. Lozier became the first vice president of the National Working Women’s Association, and helped found Sorosis, a professional women’s network. At Lozier’s urging, Bellevue Hospital conceded to grant clinical privileges to women. With Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Lozier won a pardon for Hester Vaughn, an immigrant servant falsely accused of infanticide. In December of 1869, Dr. Lozier adamantly refused to perform an abortion on Caroline Fuller, despite her married lover’s escalating threats; Lozier offered maternal services instead, and the man was arrested. Only weeks later, Lozier was critically injured in a fall and delivered her third child, Jessica, prematurely. Lozier died of peritonitis— masses mourned her.

“[Dr. Charlotte Lozier] insists that … a person who asks a physician to commit the crime of ante-natal infanticide can be no more considered his patient than one who asks him to poison his wife… Dr. Lozier … seems to prove conclusively … that law, professional honor, moral obligation, and social duty all unite in compelling [doctors] to aid in the punishment of these attempts to procure the slaughter of the innocents …”

– From The New York World, reprinted in The Revolution, December 2, 1869

“Some bad women as well as bad men may possibly become doctors who will do anything for money, but we are sure most women physicians will lend their influence and their aid to shield their sex from the foulest wrong committed against it. It will be a good thing for the community when more women like Mrs. Lozier belong to the profession.”

– From “Restellism Exposed,” The Revolution, December 2, 1869

“[Dr. Lozier] chose to bear reproach and bitterness, rather than a stain upon her conscience … Her sense of injustice would not allow her to let the wrong-doer escape the penalty of the law, while at the same time she pitied and tenderly cared for the victim. We have been amazed to hear her denounced for this brave, noble act on the ground of professional privacy. It is said she had no right to expose the outrage of having one thousand dollars offered her to commit murder. The murder of the innocents goes on …”

– Paulina Wright Davis, from “A True Woman,” The Revolution, January 20, 1870