Helen Pearl Lay Watson

Helen Pearl Lay Watson


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 We are excited to celebrate the legacy of Helen Pearl Lay Watson through the launch of the Training in Abortion Care (TAC) Residency for registered nurses. Helen was a nurse leader and pro-choice supporter who practiced for 54 years. Her granddaughter, bioethics professor Katie Watson, describes her as being "an incredibly smart woman who made a bold move for a coal miner’s daughter in 1934 to leave her home and eight siblings in Kentucky to pursue a professional education in another state, and to have a nursing career her whole life even as she raised her family. After retirement Helen watched the news every night, read The New Yorker, and loved to discuss current events and Democratic Party politics. She was an unassuming, resilient woman who handled whatever life brought her way with aplomb, and always supported her granddaughters’ educational and professional pursuits."

Helen’s granddaughters Julie Watson and Katie Watson are honoring her legacy by supporting the development of a Residency program that will allow NSRH to provide nurses with more opportunities for clinical education within the scope of practice in their given region. This experience is critical for expanding access to full-spectrum sexual and reproductive healthcare, including abortion care.