Prior to the modern methods of birth control, women relied on broken abstinence, which often failed. According to Gale Cengage Learning’s Article “Birth Control”, historical evidence of pregnancy prevention dates back to ancient Egypt in 3000 B.C where drawings were found of men wearing condoms, although it is not clear if they were traditional in nature or used for sex. The earliest evidence of a contraceptive device used by women also comes from Egypt in 1850 B.C. A set of instructions on how to create an object or mixture that is inserted into the vagina to block or kill sperm (Birth Control). Various materials were tried for condoms, from lamb intestines to linen, but condom usage grew after Charles Goodyear improved the processing of rubber. This was leading to the mass production of rubber condoms in 1844 (Birth Control).
According to the Encyclopedia of Science, Technology, and Ethics article “Margaret Sanger” by Jennifer Chesworth, stated it wasn’t until Margaret Sanger became the leader in the movement to secure reproductive rights for women when the issue of birth control became a big deal. The contraceptive movement began in the early nineteenth century; its first significant advocate was for pregnancy prevention. She 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). Sanger was born into a devoted Catholic Irish American family, and she tried to escape the “grim class heritage” of the world she lived in. She fought to maintain her academic and professional independence. 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). At the time Sanger was working as a nurse in the Lower East Side of New York City, and because they are all poor families, she focused her attention on sex education and women’s health and reproductive rights. She preached that a women should have the right to control her own body, limit unwanted pregnancies, and are as much allowed to have the same sexual pleasure and fulfilment as men (Chesworth). This was the first form of militant advocacy for birth control.
Sanger’s ideas have been controversial ever since. The ones who opposed her idea of family planning, pointed out the popular ideas of the time as proof that the movement was fundamentally flawed. However, Sanger encouraged birth control as a means of reducing genetically “transmitted mental and physical defects”, even going so far as to call for the “sterilization of the mentally incompetent” (Chesworth). Though her thinking differed significantly from the traditional belief to improve life; that eventually became the centerpiece of the Nazi party platform, and in fact her writings were among the first banned and burned in Adolf Hitler's Germany (Chesworth).
According to Gale Cengage Learning’s article “Teenage...