I can vote, I can work full-time, and I didn’t have four kids by the time I was 25. The Writer’s Almaac tells me that today is the birthday of Margaret Sanger, in 1879, who is responsible for that third one. Emphases are mine in the quote below:
Margaret Sanger was born into a working-class Irish family. Her mother died when she was 50, after 18 pregnancies. Margaret went to New York City, became a nurse, got married, and gave birth to three kids. As a nurse, she worked in the maternity ward on the Lower East Side, and many of her patients were poor, some of them living on the streets. They seemed old to her by the time they were 35, and many of them ended up in the hospital from self-induced abortions, which often killed them. Margaret nursed one mother back to health after she gave herself an abortion, and heard the woman beg the doctor for some protection against another pregnancy; the doctor told the woman to make her husband sleep outside. That woman died six months later, after a botched abortion, and Margaret Sanger gave up nursing, convinced that she needed to work for a more systematic change.
We can all be glad Margaret did work for change, went to prison in 1916 for opening a birth-control clinic, and in 1921 started what would become Planned Parenthood. Thank you, Margaret.