Dr. Jaroslav Hulka
“Sorry to say in the year 2011, to most of the professional women, this is past history to them…they’re not aware that this is a very delicate situation…for women, so I’m very happy to try to stimulate a little interest in their own health.” ~Dr. Jaroslav Hulka
Jaroslav Hulka, who goes by Jerry, was born in New York City. At the age of four he moved to Czechoslovakia where he lived until 1935 when parents decided to move back to New York after recognizing the potential for trouble in Central Europe. He considers himself to be half Czech and half American. Jerry spent his undergraduate years at Columbia University and then graduated from medical school at Columbia University in 1956. In 1960, Jerry completed his residency at Sloan Women’s Hospital. He then went to work in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and four years later came to Chapel Hill where there was budding interest in the study of population growth. Having recognized the population problem, he broadened his focus to recognize the larger problem around women’s fertility–either women had too much or too little. In the 1950s and 1960s, adoption was the only solution for women who were infertile, he decided to focus his career on science to help women combat infertility. From 1967 until 1996, Jerry worked at Memorial Hospital in Chapel Hill, performing about 12 abortions per week to women of all different backgrounds. Though the price of abortion was high — $350 in 1967–and both doctors and patients faced much opposition from protesters who regularly surrounded the hospital, Jerry stuck it out as others provided support and assured him that he was doing good. From his involvement with Planned Parenthood, to his counseling for pregnant women, Jerry’s commitment to women’s reproductive rights spans his forty year career. He considers himself very much a part of the women’s movement.