The Effects Of Birth Control And Abortion

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On March 2, 1873, the Comstock Act was passed which “forbade the sending through the mails of any drug or medicine or any article whatever for the prevention of conception” (Case Western University, 2010). Although this act did not focus on fertility, it remained as a statute for birth control. Birth control and abortion were both considered obscenities (Case Western University, 2010). The Comstock Laws declared family planning and contraception illegal and obscene (Planned Parenthood Federation of America, 2014).
In 1916 Margaret Sanger, her sister, and a friend, opened the first Birth Control Clinic in Brooklyn, New York (Planned Parenthood Federation of America, 2014). According to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (2014), Margaret Sanger “witnessed the sickness, misery, and death that result from unwanted pregnancy and illegal abortion”. Her mother was one of those women who had endured eighteen pregnancies, raised eleven children, and passed away at the age of 40 (Planned Parenthood Federation of America, 2014). It was already a difficult era for women. During this time, women did not have many rights. They were not allowed to vote, sign contracts, have bank accounts, or divorce abusive husbands (Planned Parenthood Federation of America, 2014). The clinic provided contraceptive advice to poor, immigrant women, until police raided it and the three women were convicted of disseminating birth control information (Planned Parenthood Federation of America, 2014).
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