Visit out State Web site:
Who We Are And How It All Began!!
HISTORY OF FAMILY PLANNING
The history of family planning in the United States was relatively uneventful until the late 19th century. Prior to this time, the major methods of contraception were abstinence, withdrawal and infanticide (killing of an infant). Children were generally considered an economic asset in a rural subsistence lifestyle. It was not until the urban influx that the idea of small families was seen as directly relating to increased wealth and standards of living.
By 1873, condoms and diaphragms were available through the mail. Physicians knew very little about birth control and supplies were hard to get.
The late 19th and early 20th centuries the modern birth control movement had its roots during this time with health care workers in the socialist movement who tied uncontrolled fertility to social and economic ills.
Central to the birth control movement was Margaret Higgins Sanger. Her mother, after bearing 11 children and having seven miscarriages, had died in her early 40s. Sanger saw the hardship she experience at home reflected in the lives of the poor, whose uncontrolled fertility compounded their problems.
Trained as a nurse, Sanger continually heard desperate pleas for “the secret” of contraception. She witnessed the consequences of sometimes fatal self-induced and illegal abortions and saw the deterioration of women’s health. She became outraged at the medical community and laws that prohibited the spread of information about fertility control.
The classic anecdote that served as a turning point for Margaret Sanger was her experience with Mrs. Sadie Sachs, a 28-year-old mother of three. Sager was first called to Mrs. Sachs’ tenement to assist her following a self-induced abortion. Mrs. Sachs pleaded with her doctor for “the secret”. His response was, “you want to have your cake and eat it too, do you? Well, tell Jake to sleep on the roof.” Three months later, Sager returned to find Mrs. Sachs in a coma following another abortion. She died within ten minutes. At that point, Margaret Sanger decided where her true life mission lay. She became driven by the cause of supplying women with information, changing archaic laws and developing contraceptive techniques.
While in Europe, Sanger studied and researched all that was known about birth control. She visited the first European birth control clinic in the Netherlands, and learned to fit diaphragms.
In 1915 the birth control movement organized the American Birth Control League to effect change in state and federal laws prohibiting birth control. In 1916 Sanger and her sister, Ellen Bryne, opened the first United States birth control clinic in a poor area of Brooklyn. In the first four days, 500 women came seeking birth control information. They received only information (not birth control methods) and addresses of where to order supplies. The clinic was raided and closed. Sanger was arrested eight times that year. Finally, in 1918 doctors could prescribe birth control if there was any evidence that pregnancy was a health risk. In the late 1950s, birth control programs were limited by the lack of highly effective methods suitable for mass distribution. The early 1960s brought FDA approval of the birth control pill and the IUD also entered the market, allowing a boost to the movement.
If you need to make an appointment or contact us you may do so in on our Locations Page.
|© 2013 Western Wyoming Family Planning