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His125 Week6 News Story


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News Story 1

News Story Your Name HIS 125 June 18, 2012

The Rise of Birth Control Clinics in The United States

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Today, there is an abundance of information, for any persons seeking birth control. There are different forms for females and males designed to protect against disease and pregnancy. There are also birth control clinics that provide free or low cost services to women. However; this was not always the case with birth control. There have been birth control techniques for thousands of years, which date back to ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. What is now known as “the modern movement of birth control” actually began in Great Britain. The writer Thomas Robert Malthus stirred up the interest regarding the time’s current over-population problem. As a result of his publications, by 1870 a wide range of birth control devices were made available in English and American pharmacies. These devices included; rubber condoms, diaphragms, vaginal sponges, and medicated tampons. Due to the easy access to these devices to the public, both countries created a bill to prohibit the distribution of contraceptives across state lines and through the mail. Before the use of birth control in America, many women had opted for abortions because they either had too many children to take care of or they were simply not ready to parents. In the early 19th century, abortions could be dangerous. Too many abortions often lead the woman’s death because the technology was not yet available to try and properly prevent internal hemorrhaging. In 1878, Aletta Jacobs established the first birth control clinic in Amsterdam. The first birth control clinic, in the United States, was opened in 1916 by Margaret Sanger and was located in Brooklyn, New York. The clinic opened by Margaret was later closed by the police and she was remanded to jail for thirty days because she was found in violation of the Comstock Act, of 1873. This law prohibited the trading and circulation of "obscene and immoral

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materials,” which included any advertisements or published articles, devices, and medications relating to contraception and abortion as part of its definition of obscene materials. Furthermore, the Comstock Act made mailing or importing anything relating to birth control and contraception a crime as well. In 1923, Margaret established another clinic but this time permanently. Sanger helped organize the National Birth Control League in the United States, and, in 1942, the name was permanently changes to what we now know as The Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Many birth control clinics were opened up around the United States, shortly after the name change to Planned Parenthood. Before birth control became legal, buying a single condom was punishable by law, in 30 states. Religious figure heads were known for telling women who used black-market diaphragms that they would be haunted by the faces of their unborn children. Many women were like Sanger in that; they were devout Catholic mothers who had been pregnant multiple times. Sanger was pregnant 18 times, had eleven children, and seven miscarriages. Too many women died at an early age as a result of too many pregnancies and the damages that their bodies suffered from multiple abortions. Sanger was determined to make a change and help women. Laws were modified and the uses of contraceptives were made legal, in an effort to prevent diseases and to limit the number of unwanted or unplanned pregnancies. After WWII, birth control was fully accepted by the medical profession and the remaining anti-contraception laws were abolished. Birth control and sex education in schools have continued to remain hot topic issues and ethical indifferences in the United States. In the United States today, adolescent sexual

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experimentation and teen pregnancies are on the rise, and carry an increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases and additional unwanted pregnancies, as well as the burden of personal costs and societal disapproval. There were many references to the availability and variety of birth control in magazines and newspapers in the 1920’s. A survey showed that many of the upper class women at that time and roughly 80% of the working class women approved of both the education for birth control and in the distribution of birth control. In the United States, the birth rates dropped 20% due to the use of contraceptives as a result of Margaret Sanger’s efforts. A tiny little birth control pill offered women more choices on to how many children to have and when they chose if or when to have children. After Sanger’s death in 1966 and in the 25 years of her crusade for woman’s rights, about 85% of women had tried the birth control pill, (Margaret Sanger, 2004).

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While waiting at the clinic, refresh yourself with an ice cold bottle of Coca Cola, and remember to grab a six pack for your family. Coca Cola, quality you can drink!

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References Coco Cola image, retrieved June 16, 2012, London, Kathleen, (1982), The History of Birth Control, Volume VI, Yale-New Haven Teachers Institute, retrieved June 16, 2012, Sanger, Margaret (2004), retrieved June 15, 2012,

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