New Favourite Global Atheist Convention Promotion – Margaret Sanger

I feel dreadful because I overlooked this quote in favour of the ones by Douglas Adams and Carl Sagan. Also, because I didn’t know enough about the woman who said it in order to know why she said it.

I’ve since rectified that – from Time Magazine and Gloria Steinham:

It was this injustice [limited access to contraception by lesser educated people while some could gain access via mail-order] that inspired Sanger to defy church and state. In a series of articles called “What Every Girl Should Know,” then in her own newspaper The Woman Rebel and finally through neighborhood clinics that dispensed woman-controlled forms of birth control (a phrase she coined), Sanger put information and power into the hands of women.

While in Europe for a year to avoid severe criminal penalties, partly due to her political radicalism, partly for violating postal obscenity laws, she learned more about contraception, the politics of sexuality and the commonality of women’s experience. Her case was dismissed after her return to the States. Sanger continued to push legal and social boundaries by initiating sex counseling, founding the American Birth Control League (which became, in 1942, the Planned Parenthood Federation of America) and organizing the first international population conference. Eventually her work would extend as far as Japan and India, where organizations she helped start still flourish.

Since today is the day that I’ve learned about the campaign underway in South Australia (thanks to Leslie Cannold via Twitter), to lower the age miscarriages to classified as stillbirths, which is aimed at helping grieving parents but also has potential ramifications with abortion laws, I’m glad that we have the example of Margaret Sanger that allows for continued discussion of these issues. Do check out the ABC interview which features Leslie Cannold and the link she has provided by Twitter that further unpacks the debate on personhood legislation.

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About Kylie Sturgess

Kylie Sturgess is a Philosophy teacher, media and psychology student, blogger at Patheos and podcaster at Token Skeptic. She has conducted over a hundred interviews including artists, scientists, politicians and activists, worldwide.
She’s the author of the ‘Curiouser and Curiouser‘ column at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry website and travels internationally lecturing on feminism, skepticism, and science.


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