Happy birthday! Have I told you lately how awesome you were, how much I appreciate the work you dedicated your life to?
I have two children Ms. Sanger, and while I love them I also know I’m not mentally capable of having any more. Because of you, I can grab a box of condoms while I’m doing the regular grocery shopping (they’re one aisle over from the toothpaste), no fuss, no questions, no disapproving looks.
And if a condom should break? I can go to my local Planned Parenthood for free emergency contraception. Or if I want to stop someplace closer to home, I have my pick of two EC pills at the drug store.
No doubt because of your tireless advocating for women to have control over their bodies, my ob/gyn readily agreed to sterilize me when I asked.
Unfortunately, my experience is not especially common. I am privileged, Ms. Sanger, to live in an area of our country where your work had a profound effect. There are many women who aren’t so lucky. There are pharmacists that refuse birth control to women without wedding rings, stores that lock up condoms, and doctors who refuse to sterilize or prescribe birth control to women who haven’t had children or are under a certain age or aren’t married. And like Sadie Sachs, many young women are told if they don’t want to risk becoming pregnant, they should just remain abstinent.
We have a lot of your work to do still Ms. Sanger, but you led the way. You empowered many women to control their bodies and their fertility. Rest in peace assured that there are those of us who will continue to fight until ALL women have that same right.
Much love and thanks,
Manda, and women who use birth control and/or Planned Parenthood everywhere.
Manda is, in no special order, an artist, mama, writer, activist and history geek.