WELLINGTON MEDICAL HISTORY SOCIETY

Dame Margaret Sparrow

Margaret graduated from Otago in 1963 with two years off mid way having two children.   After working in Public Health in New Plymouth and Student Health at Victoria University she specialised in sexual health.
In 1976 she spent her sabbatical leave based in London and studied for the Diploma in Venereology and did postgraduate training in family planning and abortion.
On her return journey she gained practical experience with the mobile vasectomy team in Bombay.
From 1977-2004 she was a visiting venereologist at Wellington Hospital and WIPA.

She became an inaugural member of the New Zealand Venereological Society (in 2006 renamed the New Zealand Sexual Health Society) and is currently a member of the subcommittee seeking greater recognition for sexual health pioneer Ettie Rout.  In 2012 Margaret visited Rarotonga to restore the inscription on Ettie's grave.
For her many years work in Family Planning she was elected an honorary Vice-President of FPA and the Wellington clinic is named after her.  In 1998 she was made an honorary Fellow of RANZCOG.
When the Wellington Hospital Parkview clinic opened in 1980 she put into practice the skills she had learnt in England and was an abortionist for 18 years.

She is a long time member and past President of the Abortion Law Reform Association of New Zealand (ALRANZ).
In her retirement she has published two books "Abortion Then and Now: New Zealand Abortion Stories from 1940 to 1980" and "Rough on Women: Abortion in 19th-century New Zealand".

return to 2015 programme