Founder of Planned Parenthood - Throw Back Thursday

Nurse Margaret Louise Higgins: Founder of Planned Parenthood - Throw Back Thursday

Margaret Louise Higgins blamed the premature death of her mother to the frequent pregnancy, the result of what she viewed as grim class and family heritage. 

Nursing became her door to liberation from this big family tradition. 

Founder of Planned Parenthood (1879 to 1966) 

Margaret Louise Higgins

As she worked as a visiting nurse, Margaret, who was then married to William Sanger and a mother of 3, became attracted to women’s pain of frequent childbirth, miscarriage, and abortion. She sought to liberate these women from the unwanted pregnancy by advocating for the practice of birth control.

Margaret Sanger wrote about education and women’s health, aiming to teach people that access to accurate and effective birth control is actually a right, particularly of the working women. However, the conservative American society considered this effort obscene. She had to flee to England due to her radical advocacy, which she promoted through Family Limitation and The Woman Rebel, her writings of explicit instructions of various contraceptive methods. While in Europe, she broadened her arguments with the social and economic impacts of pregnancy.

Margaret Sanger returned to the U.S. to face charges against her, but also with the goal to win public support. She endured prosecution and arrests, but worked even more in a nationwide scale to promote birth control. In 1916, she opened the very first birth control clinic in America. However, Sanger and her staff were arrested, and the government gave the physicians the right to disseminate contraception information only for medical reasons. Sanger used this to legally open doctor-run birth control clinic Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau, all staffed with women medical personnel. 

In 1921, Sanger sought support from the medical profession and backed her advocacy with clinical advantages. 8 years later, she lobbied for birth control legislation and failed. In 1928, she resigned as president of American Birth Control League, and journeyed to Asia and Europe to further her advocacy. She also helped found the International Planned Parenthood Federation in 1952, which happened after World War II, wherein the growing population became alarming.

Sanger continued to support researches for simpler, cheaper, and more effective contraceptives. In the 1965, birth control pills finally became available. And in 1965, the Supreme Court made birth control legal for married couples.

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