History Of Birth Control
It has been over a long period of time when women were the ones that stayed at home, took care of the kids, and prepared the food. In a way, women had no choice when it came to having kids because religion and laws factored in to child bearing. Even though families that were poor and could only afford one child ended up with many because there was no prevention. It was not until the 1990’s when a woman named Margaret Sanger spoke out about birth control. In one of many speeches, she informed woman how they can control having children and how they could have sex without the worries of ever becoming pregnant. There were so many opportunities that women could have with birth control and Sanger emphasized the freedom it gave to women. The government tried to silence her but she fought back for women.
There were a few reasons why Sanger fought for birth control such as seeing her mother die from going through eighteen pregnancies and of those, eleven were live births which were in twenty two years before dying at age fifty from tuberculosis. She blamed her father for her mother’s death, for having too many children, and later went to college then nursing school. She married William Sanger and had three children but after William went from architect to painting, Margaret had to work to support her family; she later separated from William after four years. Another reason she fought so hard for birth control is because in her lifetime as a nurse she had to tend to poor women who had unsafe back alley abortions. She knew that the answer to the women’s problems and suffering was contraception.
There were attempts at providing information about birth control from Sanger but were a fail because of the Comstock Laws in 1873. In some cases there were arrests made for the attempts that drew an attraction to the wealthy supporters. In 1916, she opened the first birth control clinic but after nine days the place was raided and the staff, including Sanger, was arrested. In 1923, Sanger opened her first legal birth control clinic due to New York stating the only reason you could prescribe birth control is for medical reasons. Margaret Sanger founded the American Birth Control League, which became better known as the Planned Parenthood Federation. Sanger also opened a clinic in Harlem after a black social worker asked her to help provide black women; she staffed the clinic with an all-black staff.
Decades later, Sanger realized that the diaphragm was not very popular and women needed other options. She thought to herself that women should have a magic pill that was safe, affordable, and a type of birth control they could control. That’s when she met Gregory Pincus in 1951, who was a medical expert in human reproduction. She also found a sponsor for the research, Katharine McCormick. Sanger and McCormick worked together before when smuggling diaphragms into New York from Europe. McCormick believed strongly in birth control because of genetics and science, her husband had schizophrenia and believed that it could be genetics and her child could potentially have it. In 1960, the first oral contraceptive was approved by the FDA and it was thanks to Sanger, Pincus, and McCormick who helped create the pill. “In 1965, the Supreme Court Case Griswold v. Connecticut ruled that the private use of contraceptives was a constitutional right” ("American").