Margaret Sanger - Women who made their mark later in life

Today ends my week-long spotlight on "Women who found success later in life." I was saving this treat for last because not only was Margaret Sanger a feisty women's rights activist, but she was also an Irish American ??? ??



It's Women's history month! All week long, I have been telling stories about women who made their mark on the world in their later years. It's never too late to start dreaming. Today, St. Patrick's Day, I would like to introduce you to an Irish American woman, Margaret Sanger.
Margaret Sanger was born in 1879 as one of 11 children in an Irish Catholic family in Corning, NY. She was devastated by her mother's death at age 50 from tuberculosis. Margaret's mother's strength was diminished to fight the disease because of birthing eleven children and surviving seven miscarriages. Margaret was just 19 years old and dedicated the rest of her life to the fight for family planning.
Shortly after her mother's death, Margaret went to nursing school in the Catskills and found work in NYC, where she saw firsthand what a botched abortion looked like. She was horrified that women from backgrounds like hers had to resort to illegal and dangerous procedures that put their lives at risk. Caring for the women who came to the clinic after serious injuries, she shifted her attention from general nursing to better care for women and readily available contraceptives.
Margaret did not have an easy row to hoe. It was an uphill battle from the beginning. In 1914, she coined the term birth control and provided women with contraceptive information. In 1915, Sanger was arrested for sending contraceptives through the mail and again in 1916 when she opened the country's first women's clinic. A precursor to her later established planned parenthood.
After winning many legal battles, by the 1950s, Margaret was not ready to give up. Condoms and diaphragms were clunky and expensive; many women felt too embarrassed to use them. Sanger was still searching for her magic pill. She wanted something as easy as taking an aspirin, in a woman's control, and inexpensive. In 1951, Sanger met Gregory Pincus, a medical expert in human reproduction willing to take on the project. Soon after, she found a sponsor for the research: International Harvester heiress Katharine McCormick. Their collaboration would lead to the FDA approval of Enovid, the first oral contraceptive, in 1960. With the advent of the Pill, Sanger accomplished her life-long goal of bringing safe and effective contraception to the masses. 
Four years after achieving her lifelong goal, at 81, Margaret Sanger witnessed the end of Comstock laws. Contraception is now considered a constitutional right. 
Margaret Sanger fought for over fifty years to help women earn the right to family planning. She used her tenacity, connections, and any leg up she could get to reach it. It would have been so easy to give up after being arrested, not once, but twice. It would have been easy to give up and think that diaphragms and condoms were all the advances women would ever see in birth control, but she persisted. She could have given up whenever she was called names by people who disagreed with her mission, but she endured. 
This spotlight is the end of my spotlight series, but I will still post more videos like these this month. I would love to challenge you to dig deep. What have you always wanted to accomplish? What or who is stopping you? What limiting beliefs do you need to trash to take a first step? Please tell me in the comments! I want to cheer you on! Have a great weekend, and I'll be back with more women's history month surprises!