An Analysis of Margaret Sanger’s “The Morality of Birth Control” At a time when the Women’s Rights Movement was beginning to take off in full force, Margaret Sanger her position on women’s rights of healthcare known. With the potential plans to defund Planned Parenthood, “The Morality of Birth Control” is as pertinent in women’s health today as it was then. Margaret Sanger argued that birth control did not compromise morality; she believed that American society was immoral in denying birth control information because it often led to unproductive citizens. Sanger was disappointed in society’s lack of appreciation and understand of women’s health and childbirth. She makes the assertion that birth control is moral due to the fact that it gives
There was a resurgence among religious conservatives to enact legislation that would reinforce moral standards according to radicals of the Christian faith. The movement was “motivated by growing societal concerns over obscenity, abortion, pre-marital and extra-marital sex, the institution of marriage, the changing role of women in society, and increased procreation by the lower classes.” Anthony Comstock, the United States Postal Inspector of the time, created the Act for the "Suppression of Trade in, and Circulation of, Obscene Literature and Articles
Background There are ongoing debates about abortion and they are very interesting because people come up with different worldviews. For Instance the Christian worldview abortion is forbidden, because it is against the commandments of God. In the postmodern worldview laws which are against or not supporting abortion are not acceptable. People who are against abortion are protecting lives of the unborn babies and the Christian worldview. Those who are for the idea of abortion are protecting women rights to choose and the postmodern worldview.
Margaret Sanger was an American birth control activist during the progressive era. She aided in legalizing birth control. Although she was a strong leader for women’s rights, many claimed she was racist and a supporter of abortion and eugenics. Despite these allegations, Sanger’s negative views of the disabled, fueled her inspiration to promote birth control, not that she wanted to exterminate the black race or that she didn’t value human life.. “Anti-choicers wield misattributed and often outright false quotes about Sanger as weapons to shame Black women” (Gandy 1). Anti-choice believers spread false information about Sanger as a way to make her and her ideals, goals, and achievements look bad.
..The exercise of her right to decide how many children she will have and when she shall have them will procure for her the time necessary to that developmental of other faculties than that of reproduction.” (Young, 277) Going back on the phrase voluntary motherhood, Sanger stresses the ideas of woman getting to choose what happens with their bodies. They should be allowed who they wish to have a child with, when and even how many children they wish to have. This is very important because during that time woman did not have much control even though it was their body they were looked down upon when it came to abortions or contraceptives. Although birth control has been defined as a violation of natural law, it still brought comfort to many women. This is why Sanger wanted to give so many women the opportunities to be educated on reproduction.
She stirred up conflict within the Massachusetts Bay Colony, resulting in disturbed leaders and even multiple court cases. Moreover, Anne’s claims threatened to tear the Colony apart, the men did not like a woman to have this kind of power among the people. According to an article on Anne Hutchinson, “The real issue was her defiance of gender roles—particularly that she presumed authority over men in her preaching” (“Anne Hutchinson”). Anne’s biggest problem was not her religious beliefs, but the fact the she defied authority and gender roles. Nevertheless, Anne’s beliefs eventually got her in so much trouble that the people banished her from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
Anti-abortion activists, for example, value the life of unborn embryos and fetuses; pro-choice activists value the right of women to control their own body and reproductive decisions like carrying the child. These different value positions reflect different subjective interpretations of what constitutes a social problem, causing a conflict between the two sides. For anti-abortionists, the availability of abortion is the main social problem while for pro-choice advocates, restrictions on abortion is the social problem. The conflict theory contrasts the functionalist perspective due to the fact that conflict theories sees the need for abortion to solve the inclination of population. Also sees the cost of pregnancy as expensive, moreover, the course of raising a child, forcing one to work hard to earn such to support a child.
Abortion is a class issue because poor and working class women may not be able to afford abortions, thus contributing to social inequality. This would mean fewer unwanted babies in middle and upper class families, but a greater economic strain on low-income families. Also, through the Symbolic Interaction perspective, one can understand how abortion can be seen as a life-saver to some, but a crime to others. Social class, religion, or family background can impact whether you view abortion as a symbol of social progress or of social
Margaret Sanger discusses the importance of female access to contraceptives in her piece titled “Birth Control”. Sanger argues that “no woman can call herself free who does not own and control her body. No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother”, implying that birth control is the key to any form of autonomy (Sanger 144). Sanger is aware that it takes two to tango, however emphasizes that a women’s body is hers and only hers to protect. Motherhood can be an occupation in itself, which is why women should be able to choose whether or not she wants to apply for the job.
Another ethical issue surrounding abortion revolves around the rights of the mother versus the rights of the fetus. The idea of choice that a woman has a right to choose what she does with her body comes in here. But is a woman’s right to choose greater than a fetus’s right to life? In the pro-choice view, a common argument is that abortion is legally permissible, regardless of the morality involved. A woman has a basic right to make up her own mind about choices of pregnancy or abortion, and her right to bodily integrity prevails any potential rights that the fetus may or may not have (Baird & Rosenbaum 2001).