Margaret Higgins Sanger was an American birth control activist, sex educator, writer, and nurse. She was prosecuted for her book Family Limitation under the Comstock Act in 1914. She died in 1966 and is widely regarded as a founder of the modern birth control movement.
About Margaret Sanger in brief
Margaret Higgins Sanger was an American birth control activist, sex educator, writer, and nurse. Sanger popularized the term \”birth control\”, opened the first birth control clinic in the United States, and established organizations that evolved into the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She was prosecuted for her book Family Limitation under the Comstock Act in 1914. She fled to Britain until she knew it was safe to return to the US. She died in 1966 and is widely regarded as a founder of the modern birth control movement. Due to her connection with Planned Parenthood, Sanger is a frequent target of criticism by opponents of abortion. However, she drew a sharp distinction between birth control and abortion and was opposed to abortion through the bulk of her career. She has been criticized for supporting eugenics. She believed that, while abortion was sometimes justified, it should generally be avoided, and she considered contraception the only practical way to avoid them. She also wanted to prevent so-called back-alley abortions, which were common at the time because abortions were illegal in the U.S. In 1929, she formed the National Committee on Federal Legislation for Birth Control, which served as the focal point of her lobbying efforts to legalize contraception. In 1921, she founded the American Birth Control League, which later became the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. In New York City, she organized the first birth control clinic to be staffed by all-female doctors, as well as a clinic in Harlem which had an all African-American advisory council, whereAfrican-American staff were later added.
In 1926, she wrote a series of columns on sex education which were titled \”What Every Girl Should Know\” for the socialist magazine New York Call. By the end of the series, readers were outraged by its candor and many readers, however, praised the series for being frank in their discussion of sexuality, and many New York readers, including Mabel Dodge, praised Sanger for her candor. She became active in the Industrial Workers of the World and took part in local labor actions of the Industrial Party. In 1911, after a fire destroyed their home in Hastings-on-Hudson, the Sangers abandoned the suburbs for a new life in New York. In 1902, she married architect William Sanger, giving up her education, and the five settled down to a quiet life in Westchester, New York, where they had three children. In 1914, she was arrested for distributing information on contraception, after an undercover policewoman bought a copy of her pamphlet on family planning. In 1922, she became a member of the Women’s Committee of the New York Socialist Party. She joined the Women’s Committee of The Industrial Workers of the World, and became involved with local intellectuals, left-wing artists, socialists and social activists, including John Reed, Mabel Upton Sinclair, Emma Goldman, and Emma Goldman. In 1933, she helped found the International Planned Parenthood federation.