Thursday, Nov. 18, 2010

Margaret Sanger (1879-1966)

Every sexually-active person who doesn't think twice about parenthood can thank Margaret Sanger. As a nurse on New York City's impoverished Lower East Side, Sanger spent much of her time treating women who were injured during botched illegal abortions. As a result of this, she became convinced that contraceptive control was the primary avenue to freedom (and out of poverty) for women like her mother, who died young after giving birth to 11 children. Though she was born when contraception was illegal, by the time of her death, at 81, Sanger had founded the American Birth Control League — later known as Planned Parenthood — and masterminded the research and funding for the first FDA-approved oral contraceptive, Enovid.