The life of Charlotte Denman Lozier (1844-1870) stands out as a shining example of integrity, honor, and purpose. Charlotte Lozier was a wife, mother, doctor, and feminist who sought to see justice done in a world that is so often shamefully unjust.
After graduating high school with high honors, Charlotte Denham entered New York Medical College and Hospital for Women in order to pursue her vocation of helping the sick and preserving life. Charlotte persevered in her studies despite venomous attacks from those who felt that women should not enter the medical profession. While still a student, Charlotte successfully protested Bellevue Hospital’s refusal of clinical privileges to women.
Following her graduation, Charlotte joined the faculty of the college as Professor of Physiology and Hygiene, became Vice President of the National Working Women’s Association, and married Dr. Abraham Lozier. Charlotte’s work in the medical field and reputation as a doctor made it possible for her to publicly and authoritatively call out for women’s rights.
The incident that Dr. Lozier is most famous for, which speaks most of her character, concerns a married man, calling himself Andrew Moran, who came to her seeking an abortion for Caroline Fuller, the young woman he had impregnated. He offered Dr. Lozier a bribe to carry out the abortion. In the words of the feminist publication the Revolution, “The doctor assured him that he had come to the wrong place for any such shameful, revolting, unnatural, and unlawful purpose.” Dr. Lozier offered all the assistance she could to the young girl and, when Moran became angry and abusive, sent for a policeman to have him arrested.
Charlotte Lozier refused to violate her morals, professional code, and the law of the state. She insisted, “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.”
In her defense of life, in her leadership for women’s rights, and in her compassion for a woman in need and for her unborn child, Dr. Charlotte Lozier was a light in the darkness.
The Revolution, the newspaper founded by fellow pro-life feminist Susan B. Anthony, wrote of Dr. Lozier, “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.” Revolution, 2 December 1869.
Written by Nora Sullivan