Planned Parenthood: Game Changer Throughout the YearsElijah Cooks453 Gender and Society (1001)Cooks 1
The debate regarding a woman’s choice and rights to her body stems from the ancient societal norms of women not having a voice or rights and suppression. It’s hard for a lot of us to understand the struggle of not having the basic right to contraceptives or protection as they are now readily available to most but there was a time when they were illegal, even sharing the knowledge of birth control was illegal here in the states until 1936 and that was still only available to married couples on the east coast. There was one woman who was not only strong enough to fight for those rights but also the pioneer for a program that to this day continues to educate and save the lives of many woman, men and children and that program is Planned Parenthood and its founder is Margaret Sanger. Margaret Sanger with her sister and fellow activist Fania Mindell gave birth to what is now Planned Parenthood, one of the leaders in promoting social change and women’s rights.Just before the 19thamendment was passed giving women the right to vote, Sanger and partners had already been arrested for providing birth control information and began traveling the countrythus starting the Planned Parenthood movement. In 1923 Planned Parenthood was born and already making moves promoting social change starting with women’s access to birth control knowledge and contraceptives. ‘The entire concept of birth control began to raise questions aboutpersonal freedom, liberal and conservative values, government intervention, religion and politics,and ideas regarding sexual morality and social welfare’ (Birth Control Throughout History) and with that began Planned Parenthood’s movement into promoting social change for women’s rights whether they meant to or not. Now before this movement began, Americans and the rest ofthe world were not oblivious to birth control, abortions, contraceptives etc. but the methods were not always safe. From coat hanger abortions to drinking copper salt Cooks 2
mixtures, many women and children lost their lives. ‘Pregnancy and childbirth alone killed millions of women in antiquity without modern medical interventions’ (Birth Control Throughout History). Had Sanger and her partners did not start the Planned Parenthood movement, who knows where women would be at today. One of the ways that Planned Parenthood has brough on social change is providing women with the knowledge and tools to protect themselves, and their partners, from STI’s and unwanted pregnancies. ‘In the 1950s,Planned Parenthood Federation of Americaand Gregory Pincus and John Rockcreated the first birth control pills. The pills did not become widely available until the 1960s. In the mid-1960s, the landmark Supreme Court case Griswold v.