Margaret SangerMargaret Higgins Sanger (born Margaret Louise Higgins; September 14, 1879September 6, 1966), also known as Margaret Sanger Slee, 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.
Sanger used her writings and speeches primarily to promote her way of thinking. She was prosecuted for her book ''Family Limitation'' under the Comstock Act in 1914. She feared the consequences of her writings, so she fled to Britain until public opinion had quieted. Sanger's efforts contributed to several judicial cases that helped legalize contraception in the United States. Due to her connection with Planned Parenthood, Sanger is frequently criticized by opponents of abortion. Sanger drew a sharp distinction between birth control and abortion, and was opposed to abortions throughout the bulk of her professional career, declining to participate in them as a nurse. Sanger remains an admired figure in the American reproductive rights movement. She has been criticized for supporting negative eugenics; Sanger opposed eugenics along racial lines and did not believe that poverty was hereditary. However, she would appeal to both ideas as a rhetorical tool.
In 1916, Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in the U.S., which led to her arrest for distributing information on contraception, after an undercover policewoman bought a copy of her pamphlet on family planning. 7]}} Her subsequent trial and appeal generated controversy. Sanger felt that for women to have a more equal footing in society and to lead healthier lives, they needed to be able to determine when to bear children. She also wanted to prevent so-called back-alley abortions, 3–4]}} which were common at the time because abortions were illegal in the U.S. She believed that, while abortion may be a viable option in life-threatening situations for the pregnant, it should generally be avoided. She considered contraception the only practical way to avoid them.
In 1921, Sanger 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, where African-American staff was later added. 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 the United States. From 1952 to 1959, Sanger served as president of the International Planned Parenthood Federation. She died in 1966 and is widely regarded as a founder of the modern birth control movement. Provided by Wikipedia