William Rashbaum, M.D., a New York obstetrician and gynecologist and a longtime advocate of abortion rights, has died at age 78.
Rashbaum, who lived in Manhattan and Cornwall, Conn., died Monday of lung cancer complications at New York Presbyterian Hospital-Columbia in Manhattan. He was one of the few doctors in the U.S. who routinely performed late-term abortions. He began offering the procedure soon after abortion was legalized in New York state in 1970.
He was chief of family planning services at Beth Israel Medical Center in Manhattan for many years, and at the time of his death was an attending obstetrician at Beth Israel and an associate clinical professor at Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Rashbaum also had served on the board of Planned Parenthood of New York City and was a founder of Physicians for Reproductive Choice and Health. In 1999, the reproductive rights project of the New York Civil Liberties Union honored Rashbaum for his work.