Our Lady of Birth Control

Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood was arrested 100 years ago for opening the first birth control clinic in the nation. In this biography/remembrance, Sabrina Jones takes us on a trip through Sanger's life - from her humble beginnings as a nurse to champion of women's health and empowerment. Along the way, she worked with all strata of life, from the desperately poor to the obscenely wealthy, and helped create the foundation of the women's equality movement. Interspersed with Sanger's story is Jones' own recollections of continuing the fight in the Regan era, and her journey into activist art. Fascinating, deeply educational, and unsettling (which is good - we need to be unsettled in this day and age), "Our Lady of Birth Control" is one of those topical, yet timeless stories that educate and entertain, yet remind us just how far we still have to go to ensure women has free and unfettered access to health care and family planning. What makes this story especially enjoyable is Jones' artwork. Her work is intimate and full of life, as if she's granting us a glimpse into her personal world (which she does, recounting her transition into activist art and her involvement with Regan era anti-feminist backlash). Her illustrations feel influenced by Robert Crumb and 18th century wood cuts, and really captures the frustration, disappointment, and ultimate triumph Sanger went through to ensure women had a chance to truly be their own individuals. This is one of those books that needs to be included in any class on American History, in the lobbies of women's health care clinics, and required reading for anyone planning to run for (or is currently in) Congress.

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