Family Limitation by Margaret Sanger

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Women who have choice over their own bodies can’t be controlled, and that’s been a priority of the Patriarchy and the Church for centuries. In the pre-Civil Rights Jim Crow era and before Women Suffragettes won the right to vote, Segregationists realized this freedom would also loosen their hold on both women and the African American community, and so they began the lie that birth control was a ruse to exterminate and sterilize black people [See Black Genocide Conspiracy Theory].

Margaret 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 was afraid of what would happen, so she fled to Britain until she knew it was safe to return to the US.[3] Sanger’s efforts contributed to several judicial cases that helped legalize contraception in the United States.[4] Due to her connection with Planned Parenthood, Sanger is a frequent target of criticism by opponents of abortion. However, Sanger drew a sharp distinction between birth control and abortion and was opposed to abortion through the bulk of her career. Sanger remains an admired figure in the American reproductive rights movement.[5] She has been criticized for supporting eugenics.[6]

In 1916, Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in the United States, 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 in order 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,[8] which were common at the time because abortions were illegal in the United States.[9] She believed that while abortion was sometimes justified it should generally be avoided, and she considered contraception the only practical way to avoid them.

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