2007 Award Recipient: Robert A. Hatcher, MD, MPH

For 40 years, Robert A. Hatcher, MD, MPH, has devoted himself to shaping humane and responsible reproductive health policies on a national and international basis. Through research, advocacy, and education, Dr. Hatcher has educated generations of doctors and inspired his colleagues to continue the important work of expanding women’s access to quality reproductive healthcare.

Dr. Hatcher’s research is known nationally through Contraceptive Technology (now in its 18th edition), which has grown from a 32-page document to be the most widely consulted resource on contraceptives. A pocket guide called Managing Contraception and three annual Contraceptive Technology Conferences have expanded the work of this critical volume. Dr. Hatcher has also worked as an international consultant on family planning, serving as senior author of two editions of Family Planning Methods and Practices: Africa. He consulted with officials for the Oral Contraceptive Pill Project of the Indian Medical Association and assisted in the development of the National Family Planning Service Guidelines for Egypt.

Through his work, Dr. Hatcher has continually advocated for the rights of women worldwide to have access to comprehensive care. In 1968, he agreed to serve as a plaintiff in the landmark Doe v. Bolton Supreme Court case which, along with Roe v. Wade, legalized abortion in the United States.

Dr. Hatcher has educated medical students and residents as a Professor of Gynecology and Obstetrics at the Emory University School of Medicine for four decades. In 1966, Dr. Hatcher established the Emory University Summer Program in Family Planning and Human Sexuality. This ten-week summer learning experience has trained 550 undergraduate, graduate, and medical students from across the United States and from many foreign countries. Dr. Hatcher also coordinates a weekly family planning lecture for his colleagues and students at Emory University.

In his many years of practice, Dr. Hatcher has provided expert and compassionate clinical care for thousands of women. He reaches thousands more through his website, managingcontraception.com, which serves as a resource for women around the world who seek greater information about contraception and reproductive health.

Dr. Hatcher is known in the family planning field for his innovative and far-reaching ideas and his willingness to share successful strategies. He is a true champion of women’s rights and health worldwide.