Elizabeth Bagshaw (1881 – 1982)

Elizabeth Bagshaw

Elizabeth Bagshaw was one of Canada's first female physicians and a lifelong crusader for women's reproductive health. Growing up in rural Ontario, she set her sights on becoming a doctor at a time when women were largely unwelcome in the profession. Bagshaw completed her training at Toronto Women's Medical College and received her medical degree in 1905. Moving to Hamilton in 1906, she began a career in family medicine that lasted over 70 years. In 1932, when it was still illegal, Bagshaw became medical director of the Hamilton Birth Control Clinic, the first in Canada. Her efforts have been recognized with numerous awards, including Member of the Order of Canada and Governor General's Award in Commemoration of the Persons Case.

“I just wanted to be a little different from other people.”

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