Throwback Thursday – Charlotte Ellertson

Charlotte Ellertson, born in 1966, became a significant figure who have has improved women’s health. Growing up in South Africa, Charlotte noticed many women, including women in the USA, weren’t able to make choices about their own health. As a sociologist and a public health researcher, she made a career around her passion of women’s health rights, reproductive health, research and advocacy. During this time, there weren’t any laws protecting women in making health-related decisions. Charlotte wanted women all over the world to have proper health services and options, which they need and deserve. Many of her accomplishments included but weren’t limited to: FDA approval of RU-486 pill (popular brand now called PlanB), alternative contraception process methods, and changing many reproductive and sexual assault charge policies.

charolette elleterson

She had a vision of having a dynamic organization that bridged research and advocacy. As founder of Ibis Reproductive Health organization in 2002, she was able to make her vision real. The Ibis Reproductive Health organization’s mission is to make better women’s reproductive autonomy, choices, and health worldwide. They make this happen using clinical and social science research on issues that show gaps in health services and existing treatments. She also created fellowships in Latin America and Caribbean countries so young professional, who also have passion to create change, can further their career in the world.

Sadly, Charlotte wasn’t able to see her efforts continue on. In March 21, 2004 Charlotte Ellertson died of breast cancer. Charlotte’s actions and vision are an inspiration for everyone to make change. You can make a positive change in policies, products, and services; women need to have safe, healthy, and fulfilling reproductive lives.

Why is this important?

Reproductive health is very important for living a healthy lifestyle for women and girls. Many years ago, our society was organized to benefit men more and women’s and girls’ biggest worries and cares were put aside. Other times they weren’t valued enough to be protected by law and government. Charlotte decided she wanted to make a change and made it a reality.

To learn more about Ibis Reproductive Health and to see the resources they offer, click here.


  1. Huffington Post – Women Who Changed Our Health
  2. Ibis founder Charlotte Ellertson named one of 50 most influential women in health
  3. Ibis Reporudctive Health




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