Margaret Sanger

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In the book Margaret Sanger: A life of passion by Jean H. Baker. Margaret Sanger, the subject depicted in Baker’s novel Margaret Sanger: A Life of Passion is one of the leading women in the fight for birth control. Born in 1879 to Irish immigrant parents in Corning, New York she is the 6th of 11 children. Her mother was a devout Catholic and had a total of 18 pregnancies in her 22 year marriage 11 of which were births and 7 were miscarriages. “My mother died at 48”, says Sanger “My father died at 80”. Her mother was a victim of tuberculosis not long after her last child was born. Sanger grew up in poverty and soon realized that bigger families were associated with lower means. Sanger was not one for domesticated duties and soon defied social norms and went to nursing school her aspirations included becoming a doctor. She did not complete nursing school she instead married William Sanger, an architect and artist. They settled into domestic life for a short time in the suburbs. Together they had three children, two sons and a daughter. Soon a fire consumed their home and this was the turning point for Sanger. The family then moved back to the city and Sanger became a nurse. Their daughter would later die of pneumonia at a very young age due to horrible conditions at her boarding school. The two older sons would eventually grow to blame Sanger for her death and she would divorce her husband and maintain the company of several men after. Despite the number of suitors she acquires she will be single when she dies. While working as a nurse Sanger came across a woman by the name of Sadie Sachs (likely a compilation of many women) who became very ill after giving herself an abortion. Sachs begged the doctor for advice on pregnancy preven... ... middle of paper ... ...e. The arguments of this novel were convincing for me. I do think that eugenics was the talk of the time and many people were on board with the talk of eugenics, unlike today. Baker states that Sanger only associated herself with this movement because she wanted to be recognized by as many people as possible. I also think the author made a convincing argument that this woman does deserve our respect as a society because she did make the impossible, possible and lived to see it. We should not shun her based on her association with movements that we do not agree with today. Throughout the life of Margaret Sanger we see that her humble beginnings made way for what she accomplished in her lifetime. She saw an area where women needed tremendous help and educated them on health and pregnancy prevention despite the consequences, an act that no doubt saved countless lives

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