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Margaret Sanger

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Nearly 70 years ago, one woman pioneered one of the most radical and transforming political movements of the century. Through the life that she led and the lessons she taught us, many know her as the "one girl revolution". Though Margaret Sanger's revolution may be even more controversial now than during her 50-year career of national and international battles, her opinions can teach us many lessons. Due to her strong influence in history, our society has increased health awareness for women, made sexual protection a choice for all people, and also introduced family modification as a choice for mankind.

Having gone through the hardships that she did, Margaret Sanger developed her own theories and beliefs about health in women. Through the eyes of a child, Sanger watched her mother endure eighteen pregnancies, and acquire eleven children total, only to die at a fairly young age. Although the cause of the death was noted as Tuberculosis, Sanger was sure that the incessant pregnancies were what killed her mother. Also, while working as a nurse in the poorest neighborhoods of New York City, she saw women deprived of their health, sexuality and ability to care for children already born (Margaret 1). Sanger had reason to believe that action needed to be taken to improve health awareness for women Most likely, this was the reason she started to write articles such as "What Every Girl Should Know" and "The Woman Rebel" (Margaret 1). Her desire to support women was what started her long journey on the road to legalizing birth control. However, Sanger took the first stride by exposing the truth about the mistreatment of women and their health.

In addition to the articles she composed, Margaret Sanger decided to make sexual protection an option for all people. Previously, contraceptives and spermicides were only distributed to those who had information on the matter and access to them (Margaret 1). Sanger was past 80 when she saw the first marketing of a contraceptive pill, which she had helped develop, although legal change was slow. It took until 1965, a year before her death, for the Supreme Court to approve the use of contraception, but Sanger had accomplished a goal (Margaret 1). Now, contraceptives were available to all women, in all walks of life, regardless of their financial situations. In her mind, poor mental development was largely the result of poverty, overpopulation and the lack of attention to children. This was definitely one of the reasons why Sanger desired to make protection available to lower class citizens, along with the wealthy.

Although she had met her goal of legalizing birth control, Margaret Sanger still desired to assist women who were already pregnant but didn't wish to keep the child. After returning from a national tour in 1916, Sanger opened the nation's first birth control clinic in Brownsville, Brooklyn (Katz 1). This, however, was a minor advancement considering that the clinic was raided in its first nine days of operation and she was taken to prison. The publicity surrounding the



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