Since it’s Women’s History Month, I need to honor another important influence and inspiration:
Margaret Sanger – Founder of the American Birth Control League
Sanger was arrested numerous times, distributed information so women would know more about their bodies, traveled the world to see how other countries dealt with family planning, was considered a radical feminist, and the legacy she has left behind her is one of the greatest and most influential markings in feminist history.
Sanger used legal loopholes to find ways of getting family planning services organizations legally established. Sanger spent most of her life in court, challenging laws that prevented women not only access to new birth control technologies.
But also she had her flaws. For one thing, she didn’t believe masturbation was a healthy part of sexuality. And secondly, she was not for abortion rights (she did die in the sixties when abortion became a safer procedure). Lastly, Sanger also had many racial prejudices that I completely disagree with.
While her opinions and philosophies do not match my beliefs entirely, she fought hard against legislature that made birth control illegal and gained the right to circulate information about family planning and reproductive processes.
She set a great example that education and health is important for all people to have access to. It’s hard to believe there are still so many misconceptions about woman’s reproductive processes, and in today’s debate about health care coverage, we have group of men discussing what it means to have access to birth control and thinking that all we need is an aspirin shoved up yonder.
If Sanger were here today, she’d give the male politicians in Washington a piece of her mind and advocate that it’s a Woman’s right to be heard and help form the laws that control a major aspect of their daily lives.
Did I forget to mention that Sanger is also the founder of Planned Parenthood? Sorry if you believed that organization to be a radical abortion crazy place, but it’s actually about giving women control over their body and proper education about their reproductive rights. Cheers to that and Happy Friday!