Margaret Sanger (Civil Rights Leader)

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Margaret Sanger

Margaret Higgins Sanger 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. Sanger used 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. 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.

Born: Margaret Louise Higgins, September 14, 1879, Corning, New York, U.S.
Died: September 6, 1966, Tucson, Arizona, U.S.
Occupation: Social reformer, sex educator, writer, nurse
Children: 3
Relatives: Ethel Byrne (sister)

About Margaret Sanger

An American reproduction educator and social activist during the Reproductive Rights Movement, who helped women attain birth control. The important work that she did paved the way for the creation of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.

Before Fame

She gained a spot in a nursing program in White Hills, New York City through her mother’s connections.

Achievement

She was arrested for distributing information on contraception at the first birth control clinic.

Family Life

Her mother underwent eighteen pregnancies in twenty-two years, before passing away at age fifty.

Associations

While in New York, she became involved with other local intellectuals and social activists, such as author Upton Sinclair.

Information related to Margaret Sanger

  • Claverack College alumni
  • American birth control activists
  • Women nonprofit executives
  • Sex educators
  • American eugenicists
  • Members of the Socialist Party of America
  • American humanists
  • American nonprofit executives
  • Free speech activists
  • Industrial Workers of the World members
  • Progressive Era in the United States
  • American women nurses
  • American nurses
  • American socialists
  • American women’s rights activists

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