Rockford Doctor Who Drew Protests as Abortion Provider Dies

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In the 1980s, Ragsdale successfully challenged Illinois abortion laws, which he said were so strict they limited women's access to the procedure.

He worked for 31 years at the Northern Illinois Women's Center in Rockford, where he was the area's only abortion provider. He also performed abortions at National Health Care Services in Peoria.

His wife, Deborah DeMars, says his Rockford clinic will remain open with another doctor in charge.

Ragsdale died in Swedish-American Hospital on Sunday after a short illness. He's also survived by nine children and two grandchildren.