Tags: Abortion | Planned Parenthood | history

History of Planned Parenthood

By    |   Monday, 19 October 2015 11:26 PM

“Care. No Matter what,” reads the Planned Parenthood Federation of America’s motto. The century-old health care provider offers care, information, and advocacy for Americans with reproductive issues and questions, regardless of an individual’s background.

Although the group has a history of criticism from religious and pro-life organizations as an outcome of their reputation for providing contraceptives and abortions, Planned Parenthood focuses on their success throughout the years.

Margaret Sanger founded the federation in 1916 after her sister and friend opened Brooklyn, New York’s first birth control clinic. The group’s page attributes the 1870s Comstock laws, which outlawed contraception, as well as Sanger’s mother’s 18 pregnancies to the nurse’s motivation.

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In 1923, Sanger founded the Birth Control Clinical Research Bureau, which provided women with contraceptive devices and collected birth control statistics. The American Birth Control league merged with Sanger’s clinic later in 1923, officially forming Planned Parenthood.

The group took on their first legal battle in 1936 when Sanger was arrested for illegally ordering birth control products through the mail. Sanger and Planned Parenthood prevailed and the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals began to liberalize the Comstock laws, paving the way for the legalization of contraceptives that occurred nearly 30 years later.

Starting in 1948 Planned Parenthood funded research and advocated for the development of birth control pills, which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved in 1960.

Throughout the 1960s, Planned Parenthood focused on advocating for abortions. Estelle Griswold, president of Planned Parenthood Connecticut, opened a birth control clinic in her state, ultimately putting Connecticut’s birth control bans to the test. Resultantly, Griswold v. Connecticut became the group’s first Supreme Court case. Griswold won the case, leading to 10 states allowing family planning services.

Following the landmark abortion case Roe v. Wade in 1973, Planned Parenthood argued for the Supreme Court to repeal laws mandating a woman to obtain spousal and parental consent for abortions. Starting in 1968, the group shifted their focus to teenage pregnancy with their publishing of “11 Million Teenagers,” which reported just how widespread teenage pregnancy was in America.

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The group struggled through the late 1970s after Congress passed the Hyde Amendment, which prohibited Medicaid funding for abortions. As a result, the Republican and Democratic parties officially formed their respective pro-life and pro-choice platforms in 1976.

Since then, Planned Parenthood has become increasingly partisan, gaining support from the left while fighting opposition from the right.

The organization has remained at the forefront of the contraceptives debate and controversy throughout the years, though support and funding have fluctuated depending on whether the administration in power is Republican or Democrat.

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"Care. No Matter what," reads the Planned Parenthood Federation of America's motto. The century-old health care provider offers care, information, and advocacy for Americans with reproductive issues and questions, regardless of an individual's background.
Planned Parenthood, history
Monday, 19 October 2015 11:26 PM
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