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Overview Of The Issue Of Contraception

2569 words - 10 pages

According to the Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics article, “Margaret Sanger”, Jennifer Chesworth stated, “it was not until Margaret Sanger became the leader in the movement in the early nineteenth century to secure reproductive rights for women when the issue of birth control became a big deal” (1). This was the beginning of the first pregnancy prevention movement, where Sanger was the “founder of the first birth control clinic in the United States and later, of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the International Planned Federation” (Chesworth 1). Sanger was born into an extremely devoted Catholic Irish American family, where she tried to escape the strict living conditions of the world she lived in, this is where she joined the Women’s Committee of the New York Socialist Party and participated in labor strikes organized by the Industrial Workers of the World (Chesworth 1). At the time, Sanger was working as a nurse in the Lower East Side of New York City, and because they were all poor families, she focused her attention on sex education and women’s health and reproductive rights. The article stated, “she argued that a woman's right to control her own body was the foundation of her human rights, that limiting family size would liberate working-class women from the economic burdens associated with unwanted pregnancies, and that women are as much entitled to sexual pleasure and fulfillment as men” (Chesworth 2). Meaning that women should be viewed as equal to men, no matter what society believes. This movement was the first attempt to educate both parents and teenagers about the alternative options of pregnancy prevention.
During the movement, Sanger's ideas remained controversial to those who did not understand what contraceptives were. Typically the individuals who opposed “family planning pointed to her adherence to certain popular ideas of her time as proof that the movement was fundamentally flawed” (Chesworth 2). Sanger reacted by stating “birth control is a way of reducing genetically transmitted mental and physical defects, even going so far as to call for the sterilization of the mentally incompetent” (Chesworth 2). This was very important because her movement was to educate the public of the positive affect of birth control.
According to Douglas Kirby’s article “Emerging Answers: Research Findings on Programs to Reduce Teen Pregnancy”, teen pregnancy and childbearing remain very serious problems in the United States. Even with recent declines, “the United States still has the highest teen pregnancy and birth rates among comparable industrialized nations, twice as high as Great Britain and ten times as high as the Netherlands” (Emerging Answers: Research Findings on Programs to Reduce Teen Pregnancy 9). According to Zosia Kmietowicz’s article “US and UK are Top in Teenage Pregnancy Rates”, the United Kingdom was found to be the second overall, with just over thirty births in one thousand teenagers, while...

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