Margaret Sanger : An Influential Women Of The 20th Century

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I. Introduction Margaret Sanger was one of the most influential women of the 20th century. She worked tirelessly as a nurse tending to female patients in the slums of New York’s Lower East Side. This experience converted her into an activist, not only for feminism, but for fair working conditions in the textile industry. Margaret was a polarizing figure. She was seen as antagonistic, even by the groups she fought for. Nevertheless she continued to fight for her causes. The United States owes much to a poor woman from Corning, New York. II. Tragedies Abound Margaret Sanger was born Margaret Higgins in Corning, New York in 1879. She was one of eleven children born to Michael and Anne Higgins. As a result of such a large family, the Higgins…show more content…
She experienced overcrowding and astonishing poverty in the Lower East Side. In a time before penicillin, any illness could be a death sentence. It was in these conditions that Sanger found Sadie Sachs. The twenty-eight year old mother of three was suffering from septicemia. This infection was the result of a botched abortion attempt. Margaret and the doctor in charge managed to save her life. But as was the law at the time, the doctor could not and would not give her guidance to avoid another pregnancy which would surely kill her. Six months later she succumbed to another infection from a self-inflicted abortion and died. III. Call To Action Just as she had been affected by the death of her mother, so was she affected by this. She vowed to provide information to women about contraception. She began with a weekly sex education column in The New York Call - a socialist daily paper. Consequently, this work caught the attention of Anthony Comstock. Comstock was a US Postal Inspector who was known for censoring anything he deemed inappropriate. Due to the interest her column generated for The New York Call, Comstock was only able to censor the column temporarily. Although he would continue to fight Sanger’s smut for the rest of his life. Soon Sanger’s time at The New York Call came to an end and she was drawn to the textile worker’s strike in Lawrence, Massachusetts. She worked to transport the children of the strikers to foster homes. She hoped that by providing

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