If it weren’t for Planned Parenthood, I wouldn’t have had access to comprehensive and comprehensible sex education when I was in college. I know a lot of girls who had the same as well.
The Planned Parenthood clinic I went to did not offer abortion services (as such a clinic would have been firebombed by now in my state). But they always answered any questions I had and gave me advice I needed and (most importantly) kept me from getting pregnant.
Planned Parenthood was started by Margaret Sanger, who opened up the United States’ first birth control clinic on October 16, 1916. Margaret Sanger was arrested, considered a lawbreaker and all kinds of horrible things because she wanted to – gasp – give women a CHOICE of whether or not they wanted to have children.
Here is an excerpt from a Time article on Sanger, who was noted as one of the Time 100:
Born into an Irish working-class family, Margaret witnessed her mother’s slow death, worn out after 18 pregnancies and 11 live births. While working as a practical nurse and midwife in the poorest neighborhoods of New York City in the years before World War I, she saw women deprived of their health, sexuality and ability to care for children already born.
Contraceptive information was so suppressed by clergy-influenced, physician-accepted laws that it was a criminal offense to send it through the mail. Yet the educated had access to such information and could use subterfuge to buy ‘French’ products, which were really condoms and other barrier methods, and ‘feminine hygiene’ products, which were really spermicides.
If you have ever used contraceptives to prevent pregnancy, you can thank Margaret Sanger, who wanted all of us – no matter what background we came from – to choose our paths through life.