Have you ever made use of oral contraception, otherwise known as “the pill”? You’ve got Nurse Margaret Sanger to thank for that.
In the early 1900s, Sanger worked in some of the poorest areas of New York, helping to deliver babies and caring for mothers. Constantly faced with the hardships of unwanted pregnancy, she became intensely frustrated with laws prohibiting contraception.
Sanger funneled that frustration into action. For a year, she closely studied birth control, even traveling to Europe to study family planning.
Her eventual plan involved three stages—educating the public on birth control, changing laws, and creating an organization to help connect women with contraceptives. She was successful in all three of these endeavors, starting her own magazine, Woman Rebel, reversing the Comstock Law, which made the mailing of birth control information illegal, and establishing the organization that is, today, known as Planned Parenthood .
Sanger was jailed, harassed, and discredited for much of her career, but won out in the end, and because of her efforts, she changed the world through the introduction of easily obtainable contraceptive care for women all over the United States.