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H MS c304

Lader, Lawrence. Papers, 1948-1996 (inclusive), 1969-1991 (bulk): Finding Aid.

Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine)

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Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine)

© President and Fellows of Harvard College

Descriptive Summary

Call No.: H MS c304
Repository: Center for the History of Medicine (Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine)
Creator: Lader, Lawrence
Title: Lawrence Lader Papers,
Date(s): 1948-1996 (inclusive),
Date(s): 1969-1991 (bulk).
Quantity: 18 cubic feet (17 records center cartons, 1 legal size document box, and 1 flat oversize box).)
Language of materials: Papers are in English.
Abstract: The Lawrence Lader papers, 1948-1996 (inclusive), 1969-1991 (bulk), are the product of Lader's activities as an abortion rights advocate, founder and president of Abortion Rights Mobilization (ARM), co-founder of National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), and author and journalist.

Processing Information:

Processed by Bryan Sutherland, 2014 September.
Processing staff in the Center for the History of Medicine analyzed, arranged, and described the records and created a finding aid to improve access to the collection. To enhance preservation, processing staff re-housed the collection and, where necessary, photocopied documents onto acid-free paper. Duplicate records and records that did not meet the collection policy of the Center for the History of Medicine were discarded. Folder titles were transcribed from the originals.
Due to the large number of abbreviations in folder titles, only occasionally used abbreviations are written out in the folder's Scope and Content note. Frequently used abbreviations that were not clarified at the folder level include Abortion Rights Mobilization (ARM), National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).

Conditions Governing Access:

Access to personal and patient information is restricted for 80 years from the date of creation. These restrictions appear in Series I. Researchers may apply for access to restricted records. Consult Public Services for further information.
The Papers are stored offsite. Researchers are advised to contact Public Services for more information concerning retrieval of material.

Conditions Governing Use:

The Harvard Medical Library does not hold copyright on all the materials in the collection. Requests for permission to publish material from the collection should be directed to Public Services. Researchers who obtain permission to publish from Public Services are responsible for identifying and contacting the persons or organizations that hold copyright.

Preferred Citation:

Lawrence Lader papers, 1948-1996 (inclusive), 1969-1991 (bulk). H MS c304. Harvard Medical Library, Francis A. Countway Library of Medicine, Boston, Mass.

Related Collections at Harvard University

Associated Papers

Biographical Notes

Lawrence Lader (1919-2006), A.B., 1941, Harvard University, was a journalist and abortion rights activist, co-founder of National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, which later became the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), and founder of Abortion Rights Mobilization (ARM). He wrote extensively on abortion and reproductive rights.
Lader was born in New York, New York in 1919. He served with Armed Forces Radio in the Pacific Theater during World War II, where his dispatches were published in The New Yorker. He went on to have articles published in Esquire, Look, Life, Saturday Evening Post, Reader's Digest, and The New Republic. In 1948 he ran for New York state representative on the American Labor Party ticket. In 1955 he published a biography of Margaret Sanger, which began his interest in the abortion issue. Abortion was published in 1966, in which Lader argued that the 1965 Griswold v. Connecticut Supreme Court decision, which extended privacy to sexuality and family planning, could also be applied to abortion. The book was cited multiple times in the 1973 Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision.
Lader was among a group that co-founded the National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws in 1969. After the Supreme Court decision, the group was renamed the National Abortion Rights Action League. Lader left NARAL in 1976 to found Abortion Rights Mobilization. The group actively sought the legalization in the United States of the abortion drug RU-486 (mifepristone). In 1992 he, with a pregnant social worker named Leona Benten, tried to enter the United States from Europe with a dozen RU-486 pills. They were met by customs agents who confiscated the pills. Benten appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, but was denied. Lader then set up a laboratory in Westchester County, New York, to manufacture RU-486, which he provided for clinical trials and gave free to women. Food and Drug Administration approval of RU-486 was achieved in 2000. Also through ARM, Lader sued the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to revoke the tax-exempt status of the Catholic Church, because of its political lobbying on abortion.
In addition to the Sanger biography and Abortion, Lader also authored The Bold Brahmins: New England's War Against Slavery (1961), Power on the Left: American Radical Movements since 1946 (1980), Politics, Power and the Church (1987), and A Private Matter, RU-486 and the Abortion Crisis (1995). Lader married Jean McInnis in 1942 and they divorced in 1946. He later married Joan Summers, whom he was with until his death. He had one daughter, Wendy. Lader died of colon cancer in 2006.

Series and Subseries in the Collection

Scope and Content

The Lawrence Lader papers, 1948-1996 (inclusive), 1969-1991 (bulk), are the product of Lader's activities as an abortion rights advocate, founder and president of Abortion Rights Mobilization (ARM), co-founder of National Association for the Repeal of Abortion Laws, which later became the National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL), and author and journalist. The papers contain records related to the administration of ARM and NARAL, ARM's legal activities regarding RU-486 and the Catholic Church's tax-exempt status, as well as Lader's writings on abortion rights and family planning, with related research records.
The Lawrence Lader papers consist of four series: I. Abortion Rights Mobilization (ARM) Records, II. National Abortion Rights Action League (NARAL) Records, III. Writings, and IV. Clippings.
Papers are entirely in English.

Container List

Additional Index Terms

Abortion--Law and legislation--United States.
Abortion--Religious aspects--Catholic Church.
Mifepristone--Government policy--United States.
Overpopulation.
Tax exemption.
Abortion, Induced
Catholicism
Mifepristone
Population Density
Tax Exemption
Lader, Lawrence
Abortion Rights Mobilization.
National Abortion Rights Action League.
National Association for Repeal of Abortion Laws (U.S.)

med00113