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thirty days in jail for providing information on contraceptives and diaphragms. She appealed her conviction and lost. Even though the judge would no overturn her conviction they did make an exception in the existing law allowing doctors to prescribe contraception to women for medical reasons. This was considered a huge victory for women in the US (Margaret Sanger, n.d.).
Sanger5In 1920 William and Margaret divorced and shortly after in 1921 Sanger created what is known today as Planned Parenthood, the American Birth Control League. She was the president for seven years and during that time she opened the first legal birth control clinic in America. Shenamed the clinic the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau. In 1922 Margaret married a millionaire in the oil business, Noah Slee. They were not a traditional couple, they lived in separate homes and Margaret kept her name. Slee funded many of Sanger’s crusades and even gave her money to use to smuggle diaphragms from Europe into the US. During this time many physicians thought that diaphragms would be harmful to women and cause cancer and madness. People believed that interfering with God’s will would end up making women get physically or mentally ill. The clinic kept impeccable records on the effects of the birth control and trained many physicians on techniques used for contraceptives. This was necessary as this was not yet taught in medical school. Finally in 1937 the American Medical Association recognized it as a legitimate medical service. Only one year later in 1938 there were 300 more birth control clinics across the United Stated (Langston, 2002). During this same time period in Sanger started the National Committee on Federal Legislation for Birth Control. It was the committee’s mission for doctors to legally be able to distribute birth control. They made leaps and bounds forward when in 1936 the U.S. Court of Appeals allowed birth control devices, such as diaphragms, and other related materials to be legally imported into the country. In 1942 the American Birth Control League turned into the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Margaret was the president of the International Planned Parenthood Federation. She dedicated her time to raising funds to study and develop the birth control pill shehad been dreaming about. By 1960 the first pill was developed and on the market. Women could
Sanger6get the pill prescribed by a doctor. The pill was not legal for all women to take. Only married women could take the pill, it was still illegal for single women to get. It took five years for the pill to be available to all women. In 1965 the United States Supreme Court ruled that the private use of contraceptives be legal (Margaret Sanger, n.d.).