Magdalene Ayuk
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Women Making History: Margaret Sanger

Margaret Sanger: Social Activist
Margaret Sanger: Social Activist

Many women cannot fathom a world without the renowned birth control pill or other preventative methods, the familiar friends women use to be in control of their sexuality. I guess we owe Margaret Sanger, born to the city of New York in 1883, a big thank you. Sanger was a leading social activist in advocating birth control and woman’s health.

Sanger worked as a nurse, and grew aware of the ill effects of unplanned/unwanted pregnancies. Therefore in 1912, she decided to leave her practice and fully devote herself to the distribution of birth control information. Unfortunately, she had to deal with the Comstock Law passed in the United States, a public campaign for legislating public morality. This law prevented the distribution of birth control devices and information regarding these “immoral” tools. It’s amazing to imagine with our 21st century lenses that a woman having a say in when or if she gets pregnant was considered to be immoral. But it was.

In 1913, Margaret Sanger founded a paper called “Woman Rebel”, but she was indicted for “mailing obscenities.”  Upon her flee to Europe, the indictment was lifted. Three years later, she set up the first birth control clinic, where she distributed diaphragms.

In 1921, she founded the National Birth Control League, an organization which provided information on preventative methods through lectures and other workshops. Although she was arrested several times for delivering such messages of choice to women and protesting the infamous Comstock Law, she continued to be a voice for American women.  She saw all these rather  as minor set-backs; in 1942, she contributed to the formation of the Planned Parenthood Federation.

If you want to check this woman out further you can read The Autobiography of Margaret Sanger online for free!

Sources: History

The Web Chronology Project

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