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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Women's Health

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Empowerment & Equality

I attended a Lunch & Learn Session at Westside Family Health Clinic and want to share what I've learned with you. 7 States unfunded Planned Parenthood. Only 17% of Congressional members are women. A majority of our laws are made by White middle-class or rich men for their own benefits. Although women make up 51% of population, we are seriously under-represented in our government. Equal rights is just an ideal and all the advancements that benefit women are under attack right now. Before birth control, the maternity fatality rate was 65 times higher. Studies show that for every dollar spent on birth control, we save $4 on health care costs. There is a proven link between high fertility rates, poverty and shorter life expectancy. Did you know that birth control wasn't legal in the U.S until 1965? Our paternalistic government and society wanted to keep women in our places at homes. Nursing, teaching and social work were the only acceptable professions for women. Thanks to Margaret Sanger, we now have birth control. In 1914, prompted by suffering she witnessed due to frequent pregnancies and self-induced abortions, she started publishing a monthly newsletter, The Woman Rebel. Sanger's activism was influenced by the conditions of her youth — her mother had 18 pregnancies in 22 years, and died at age 50 of tuberculosis and cervical cancer.
In 1916, Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in the United States, which led to her arrest for distributing information on contraception. Her subsequent trial and appeal generated enormous support for her cause. Sanger felt that in order for women to have a more equal footing in society and to lead healthier lives, they needed to be able to determine when to bear children. She also wanted to prevent back-alley abortions that endangered women's lives and were mostly illegal at that time. In 1921, Sanger founded the American Birth Control League which later became 
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Vote as if your life depends on it! 
Ingrid Cheng
Writer, Health Advocate

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