Margaret Sanger

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Margaret Sanger (September 14, 1879 – September 6, 1966) was an American birth control activist, sex educator, writer, and nurse. Sanger popularized the term "birth control", opened the first birth control clinic in the United States, and established organizations that evolved into the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Early life[edit | edit source]

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 devoutly Catholic Irish-American. Margaret was the sixth of eleven surviving children.

Career[edit | edit source]

In 1911, after a fire destroyed their home in Hastings-on-Hudson, the Sangers moved to New York City where Margaret worked as a visiting nurse in the slums of the East Side, while her husband worked as an architect and a painter. Already imbued with her husband's leftist politics, Margaret Sanger also threw herself into the radical politics and modernist values of pre-World War I Greenwich Village bohemia.

Legacy[edit | edit source]

Sanger's efforts contributed to several judicial cases that helped legalize contraception in the United States. 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.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]


External links[edit | edit source]

Margaret Sanger Resources

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