For many decades, American women have struggled with being in control of their bodies and fertility rights, deciding when and if they want to have children. Some background on contraception and abortion regulations; in 1870 Comstock laws made contraception illegal and declared information about family planning and contraception “obscene” (Planned Parenthood). In 1923, Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood opened a birth control clinical research bureau in Manhattan, New York to provide contraceptive devices to women and collect statistics to prove their safety as well as long term effectiveness. That same year she incorporates the American Birth Control league, an ambitious new organization that highlights the global issues of population growth, disarmament, and world famine. These two organizations merge and become what is now known as Planned Parenthood. After a long and hard fought battle she was able to achieve her goal which was to fight for women’s rights and educate and provide the world with contraceptives or the choice of a safe and legal abortion. We as women could also thank Sanger for, “women's progress in recent decades in education, in the workplace, in political and economic power. It can be directly linked to Sanger's crusade and women's ability to control their own fertility” (Planned Parenthood). This is also a topic that has always been important to families and communities as a whole.
Sanger made it possible for women to avoid unwanted pregnancies and plan their families without having to use abortion. When the choice of contraception and abortion became available as well as legal it brought a sense of relief to women a hundred years ago, in regards to being able to choose when they wanted children and how many they wanted. In 2013, it still holds just as much of an importance, due to the teen pregnancy rates and the number of abortions in today’s society. Many parents would prefer their teenage daughter to use a form of contraception to avoid unexpected pregnancies or the choice of abortion. In 1962, Alan Guttmacher, M.D. began his twelve year tenure as Planned Parenthoods president. He was a strong advocate for women’s rights to a safe and legal abortion at a time when Americans are increasingly angered by the dire consequences of abortion restrictions. Unfortunately these situations were still occurring because teens were scared of what their parents or peers would think, “In 1988, 17-year-old Becky Bell dies from the complications of illegal abortion, which she has in order to avoid the embarrassment of observing an Indiana law that requires minors to obtain the consent of a parent before terminating an unwanted pregnancy. Her parents become outspoken opponents of parental consent laws” (Planned Parenthood). Communities would also rather see teens using a contraceptive so they can be successful in school, sports and pursuing their futures. Not only does the issue of contraception and abortion hold importance to families and communities, it also has been an ongoing battle between governments.
In May, 1960 the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approves sale of oral pills for contraception (Planned Parenthood), which was considered a major breakthrough for the government as well as women. It was also considered a big deal in 1965 when the U.S. Supreme Court, in Griswold .vs.