Margaret Sanger

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Margaret Sanger

Name of Writer

Name of Institution

Table of Contents



Early Activism3

Sex Educator4

Her Writings5

Sanger and Medical Community5

Creating Public Attention6

Hurdles and Obstacles6

International Achievements7



Margaret Sanger


Margaret Sanger (1879-1966) was a birth control and women activist, and an American figurehead for contraception, family planning, population control throughout the world. She was born Margaret Higgins in Corning, New York to an Irish Roman Catholic household of Michael Hennessey Higgins and Anne Purcell Higgins. She was the sixth out of eleven children that her mother bore, and was deeply disturbed by her premature death, which was due to frequent child birth and poverty. However, Margaret decided that she would not end up like her mother and attended college to escape her mother's fate. She worked as a nurse in the women's ward towards attaining her registered nursing degree, which ended in 1902 when she got married to an architect William Sanger. She settled down to a quiet life and bore three children. However, in order to protect her disgruntled marriage, both Margaret and William decided to abandon the suburb, and move to New York City in 1911. Throughout her life, Sanger was seen as a controversial figure having feminist and socialist views, working to bring a change in the areas of strong traditional value and cultural resistance. All in all, Sanger was one of the most influential people that changed the societal point of view about contraceptives and birth control.(Katz, 2000).


Early Activism

The radical and bohemian culture of New York City paved way for Margaret to become an activist, and created an environment of formative learning for her. Being exposed to a vast amount of modern thinking around her in areas such as social, political, and personal revolution, and discovered the rebelliousness in her. She joined the Women's committee of the New York Socialist Party and participated in several movements, protests, rallies and strikes. Returning to work as a nurse she experienced poor mothers with frequent pregnancies begged for any information to avoid pregnancies. This transformed her into a radical looking to change the world's perception on child birth, pregnancy, and women's rights. She was convinced that there is a relationship between poverty and child birth. She knew that poverty is dependent on the number of pregnancies, and that more pregnancies would result in more poverty. In 1913 she began publishing a monthly newspaper called the Woman Rebel, which raised voice on the issue of birth control and poverty. However, after only six months she was arrested and charged for publishing obscene material and distributing it through the mail. After that she fled to Europe and continued her studies on the topic of birth control. She visited clinics and talked to many medical researchers in this field (Katz, 2000).

Sex Educator

In 1916, she returned to the United States, and upon removal of charges against her, started lecturing throughout the nation. She and her fellow activists opened up a birth control clinic in a slum area of New York, and gave out information and materials to the poor on ...
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