From getting arrested for handing out birth control to becoming the most vocal proponent of abortion rights: This is the 101-year history of Planned Parenthood

Planned Parenthood

While Planned Parenthood has become the go-to poster child for the abortion debate in the US over the past year, the organization has weathered political turmoil for the last 101 years.

In 1916, three women in New York were arrested for handing out birth control information and, after going to court, opened the first branch of what is now Planned Parenthood today.

Even though abortions are just one of many services offered at the nonprofit’s health centers, Planned Parenthood has often caught ire from antiabortion activists and conservative politicians.

Here’s how Planned Parenthood went from a small group of women’s rights activists in a Brooklyn brownstone to one of the largest reproductive healthcare providers in the world today:

SEE ALSO: How the GOP healthcare plan could affect Planned Parenthood

DON’T MISS: The Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade isn’t the biggest threat to abortion rights

In 1916, early women’s rights activists Margaret Sanger, Ethyl Byrne, and Fania Mindell were thrown in jail for 30 days for handing out birth control and pregnancy information from a Brooklyn brownstone.

Source: Planned Parenthood

Back then, obscenity laws made it illegal for anyone — even doctors — to distribute contraception or information on it. The most popular forms of birth control those days were condoms and diaphragms.

Sources: Planned Parenthood, Our Bodies Ourselves

After a lengthy court battle, a district judge in New York struck down the federal law banning contraception, legalizing birth control prescribed by a doctor in 1936. But it would take years for most women to gain access.

Source: Margaret Sanger

See the rest of the story at Business Insider


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