American birth control activist, sex educator, writer, and nurse. Sanger the essential feminist reader by estelle b freedman pdf 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. 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. Her subsequent trial and appeal generated controversy. In 1921, Sanger founded the American Birth Control League, which later became the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
Sanger was born Margaret Louise Higgins in 1879 in Corning, New York, to Michael Hennessey Higgins, an Irish-born stonemason and free-thinker, and Anne Purcell Higgins, a Catholic Irish-American. Michael Hennessey Higgins had emigrated to the United States at age 14 and joined the Army as a drummer at age 15, during the Civil War. Supported by her two older sisters, Margaret Higgins attended Claverack College and Hudson River Institute, before enrolling in 1900 at White Plains Hospital as a nurse probationer. In 1902, she married the architect William Sanger and gave up her education.
With sons Grant and Stuart, c. In 1911, after a fire destroyed their home in Hastings-on-Hudson, the Sangers abandoned the suburbs for a new life in New York City. Margaret Sanger worked as a visiting nurse in the slums of the East Side, while her husband worked as an architect and a house painter. By the standards of the day, Sanger’s articles were extremely frank in their discussion of sexuality, and many New York Call readers were outraged by them. Both were published in book form in 1916. During her work among working-class immigrant women, Sanger met women who underwent frequent childbirth, miscarriages and self-induced abortions for lack of information on how to avoid unwanted pregnancy.
Access to contraceptive information was prohibited on grounds of obscenity by the 1873 federal Comstock law and a host of state laws. Sanger’s 1904 rescue of her unwanted niece Olive Byrne from the snowbank in which she had been left—marks the beginning of Sanger’s commitment to spare women from the pursuit of dangerous and illegal abortions. Given the connection between contraception and working-class empowerment, Sanger came to believe that only by liberating women from the risk of unwanted pregnancy would fundamental social change take place. She launched a campaign to challenge governmental censorship of contraceptive information through confrontational actions. Sanger became estranged from her husband in 1913, and the couple’s divorce was finalized in 1921.
In 1922 she married her second husband, James Noah H. In 1914, Sanger launched The Woman Rebel, an eight-page monthly newsletter which promoted contraception using the slogan “No Gods, No Masters”. Sanger proclaimed that each woman should be “the absolute mistress of her own body. Margaret Sanger spent much of her 1914 exile in England, where contact with British neo-Malthusians such as Charles Vickery Drysdale helped refine her socioeconomic justifications for birth control. Over-population would remain a concern of hers for the rest of her life.
During her 1914 trip to England, she was also profoundly influenced by the liberation theories of Havelock Ellis, under whose tutelage she sought not just to make sexual intercourse safer for women but more pleasurable. Early in 1915, Margaret Sanger’s estranged husband, William Sanger, gave a copy of Family Limitation to a representative of anti-vice politician Anthony Comstock. William Sanger was tried and convicted, spending thirty days in jail while attracting interest in birth control as an issue of civil liberty. He later became the first legal manufacturer of diaphragms in the United States. On October 16, 1916, Sanger opened a family planning and birth control clinic at 46 Amboy Street in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, the first of its kind in the United States. Nine days after the clinic opened, Sanger was arrested. 500 and she went back home.
In February 1917, Sanger began publishing the monthly periodical Birth Control Review. Sanger published the Birth Control Review from 1917 to 1929. 1921 to enlarge her base of supporters to include the middle class. And only begotten under conditions which render possible the heritage of health. Therefore we hold that every woman must possess the power and freedom to prevent conception except when these conditions can be satisfied.
American Birth Control League in 1924 and a second time in 1925. In 1922, she traveled to China, Korea, and Japan. In China she observed that the primary method of family planning was female infanticide, and she later worked with Pearl Buck to establish a family planning clinic in Shanghai. Sanger invested a great deal of effort communicating with the general public. She wrote several books in the 1920s which had a nationwide impact in promoting the cause of birth control. Between 1920 and 1926, 567,000 copies of Woman and the New Race and The Pivot of Civilization were sold. She also wrote two autobiographies designed to promote the cause.