Friends of UNFPA Mourns the Passing of Founding Board Member Mary D. Lindsay

Friends of UNFPA is deeply saddened to announce the passing of long-time advocate, founding Board of Directors member, and Emeritus member, Mary D. Lindsay.

Mary spent nearly five decades championing women’s sexual and reproductive health and rights. “I founded Friends of UNFPA in 1998,” wrote Mary in a letter to UNFPA supporters in 2012, “determined to prove that even during difficult times when the government cut contributions to UNFPA, ordinary citizens like you and me would step up to help.”

Mary had a career in nursing, which helped to form her worldview and inspired her involvement with multiple humanitarian organizations. In addition to her work with Friends of UNFPA, she was president of the boards of The Margaret Sanger Research Bureau, Planned Parenthood of New York City, and Family Planning Advocates, New York State. She was on the board of Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and served on the boards of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory, the Union Theological Seminary, and the Columbia University School of Nursing.

“She shared the strong belief,” said Friends of UNFPA’s Executive Director, Amanda Seller, “that when a woman can plan her family, she can plan the rest of her life. And when her reproductive rights are protected, she has freedom to participate more freely and equally in society.”

“We will always remain indebted to her,” said the Chair of Friends of UNFPA’s Board of Directors, Jacob Onufrychuk. “She once said that ‘Together, we can improve the world long after we’re here to see it,’ and we will continue striving to make that true with everything we do.”


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