Margaret Sanger: Mother of Birth Control

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Pregnancy prevention didn’t start with a pill. There were many different things that the people in the 1920’s did to prevent pregnancy and those methods were pretty terrifying. From self-induced abortions to women leaving their newborns besides garbage dumps. Most of these families affected by these methods were mainly people from the lower class. Since it was mainly from lower class, there were very high death rates. Margaret Sanger met a woman who later died of a self-induced abortion. That experience led her to open a clinic providing birth control for low income women, something that was unheard of back then. Margaret Sanger is a rebel due to her contribution to the birth control movement, being a social activist and her challenging the laws of contraception. The Birth Control Movement began when Margaret Sanger worked as a nurse at a factory that consisted of immigrant women. Throughout her time there, many of these women shared out stories about going through self-induced abortions, miscarriages and frequent childbirth. Due to the constant women undergoing self-induced abortion and hurting themselves in the process, Sanger decided to make the need for better contraceptives a priority. “The woman of the upper middle class have all available knowledge and implements to prevent conception” (Sanger, “No Gods, No Masters”). [DS1] Women who didn’t know, women that were not allowed to know, about contraceptives were low paid women. In 1912, Margaret Sanger was called in to nurse a patient that performed a self-induced abortion, which caused her to nearly die from blood poisoning. During the 1900’s, any information about contraceptives was illegal, which will be talked about later on in the essay. Due to that law, doctors often told their patients that abstinence was the way to go when it comes to pregnancy prevention. This was the case for Sadie Sachs, the woman that Sanger was called in for to nurse. Sachs eventually passed away after performing a second self-induced abortion. This would then spark into Margaret Sanger’s Birth Control Movement. Sanger’s belief on abortion was negative. She didn’t like the idea of abortion. She believed that a family should not undergo abortion because “abortions were otherwise immoral.” (Mundt, 2017) Margaret Sanger tried her best trying to care for those who suffered from self-induced abortions. In fact, her mother died due to frequent childbirth (at least that’s what Sanger believes). Sanger started the Birth Control Movement due to many women suffering from the lack of contraceptives, especially those in the lower class. In addition to the Birth Control Movement, Margaret Sanger was a social activist. She participated in two labor protests- the Lawrence textile strike (1912) and the Paterson Silk strike (1913). The Lawrence textile strike began in Lawrence Massachusetts, January 1, 1912. There were many people, specifically immigrant women, that made protests about their pay being cut down. A few people were injured due to the amount of police or as Sanger put it “soldiers with guns bayonetted” (Sanger, “The Fangs of the Monster”) because a lot of people protested. The strike lasted for around two months with it being successful. There was high pay and longer work hours. The Paterson silk strike was similar to the Lawrence textile