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Margaret Sanger's Brownsville Clinic, 1916
Sanger worried that women would not come to the clinic due to laws that prevented her from publicly spreading the word. In an interview, Sanger said “it was a crisp, bright morning on October 16, 1916, in Brooklyn, N.Y., that I opened the doors of the first birth-control clinic in the United States. I believed then, and do today, that this was an event of social significance in the lives of American womanhood. Three years before, as a professional nurse, I had gone with a doctor on a call in New York’s lower East Side. I had watched a frail mother die from a self-induced abortion. The doctor previously had refused to give her contraceptive information. The mother was one of a thousand such cases; in New York alone there were over 100,000 abortions a year. That night I knew I could not go on merely nursing, allowing mothers to suffer and die. . . . It was the beginning of my birth-control crusade (Grimaldi)." Women did come to the clinic when it opened, but it was shut down only 10 days after opening. The police used undercover cops to obtain enough information to raid the clinic. "She re-opened the Clinic on November 14 but was arrested again, this time charged with maintaining a public nuisance. She opened the Clinic once more on November 16, but police forced the landlord to evict Sanger and her staff, and the Clinic closed its doors a final time (Grimaldi)."
After being shutdown for the last time, Sanger founded the American Birth Control League in 1921. Her mission with founding this league was to educate women on the prevention of pregnancy. She used lectures and writings to inform women. In 1923, the first legal birth control clinic opened under Sanger and the league. It was known as the Clinical Research Bureau. The American Birth Control League eventually turned into Planned Parenthood.
SourcesGrimaldi, Jill. "Sanger’s First Clinic." Margaret Sanger Papers Project. 2010. Accessed May 29, 2016. https://sangerpapers.wordpress.com/2010/10/26/sangers-first-clinic/.
Grimaldi, Jill. "Margaret Sanger Papers Project." Margaret Sanger Papers Project. October 16, 2015. Accessed May 29, 2016. https://sangerpapers.wordpress.com/tag/brownsville-clinic/.
"Margaret Sanger." Margaret Sanger. Accessed May 25, 2016. http://www.u-s-history.com/pages/h1676.html.
Brownsville, NY 11212
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