In Memoriam: Mary Krane Derr


The pro-life movement has been affected by tragic loss. Lifelong pro-life activist Mary Krane Derr passed away suddenly on November 30, 2012. An accomplished poet, Krane Derr had been invited to the Kritya International Poetry Festival in India to do a reading, where she fell ill. She was 49 years old.

Krane Derr was the co-editor of the book Pro-Life Feminism: Yesterday and Today, a compilation of feminist writing on the issue of abortion from the 19th century to the present. The book reveals the fact that early feminists such as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton opposed abortion, in contrast to the mainstream feminist movement today.

Krane Derr's research and careful documentation helped countless pro-lifers convey the feminist pro-life message in their speeches, articles, blog posts, and lectures, and will continue to be a powerful resource for the pro-life movement going forward. She had also authored many pro-life articles in different publications, including the anthology "Swimming Against the Tide: Feminist Dissent on the Issue of Abortion."

She had published her poetry in small-press magazines like Many Mountains Moving, anthologies like Hunger Enough: Living Spiritually in a Consumer Society (ed. Nita Penfold, Pudding House, 2004), and such websites as Poets Against the War (www.poetsagainstthewar.org). She has read it at the Chicago Cultural Center and the 1999 Parliament of the World's Religions, Cape Town, South Africa. Her nonfiction has been published by Utne Reader, the disability rights magazines Mouth and Ragged Edge, and the independent Turkish news agency BIAnet.

Krane Derr overcame a lifetime of health problems to become a pro-life champion, talented poet, devoted grandmother, loving wife, and good friend to many. Her death is a loss to the pro-life movement, her family, and everyone who knew her.

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