A Short History of Birth Control in the US

An Excerpt from

Birth Control 2016

A Short History of Birth Control in the United States

Then and NowBirth Control Front Cover - J-Peghttp://tinyurl.com/BirthControl-2016

THEN

In 1848, a conference attracted three-hundred women and men who met to gain women the right to vote. It took seventy-two bitter years of activism, hunger strikes, arrests and fighting obstruction for women to prevail. Congress finally passed the Nineteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution giving women the right to vote in 1920.

While early activists fought for a woman’s right to vote, another group of feminists spent their lives helping women obtain sex education and access to birth control. One of those women, Margaret Sanger, grew up in a household of poverty with ten siblings. Her mother had eighteen pregnancies.

In 1902, Margaret began working as a nurse, and later a midwife. She cared for chronically pregnant poor women living in the tenements of New York who begged her for information to help stop unwanted pregnancies.

Sanger’s book, Motherhood in Bondage, contains hundreds of letters from hopeless women across the country imploring her to help them limit the number of children they bore. Most of the them wrote of being married as a teenagers and bearing a child each year. One 43-year-old woman with nineteen children had begged her doctor for contraceptive information, only to be told to be careful. Stories included child-mothers escaping poverty to marry and having a child before their thirteenth birthday. One, married at age fourteen, had fourteen living children, many miscarriages and failing health due to multiple pregnancies and poverty.

The women’s plight incited Margaret’s actions, but for talking about birth control she risked imprisonment under the Comstock Act of 1873. That draconian law made it illegal to discuss, produce, print or use the US Postal Service to mail any literature or product pertaining to the body related to birth control and venereal disease. Venereal disease was rampant before the age of antibiotics. Anatomy textbooks being sent to medical students were prohibited and confiscated. Doctors failed to educate women about ovulation and contraception because they could be jailed for even discussing contraception.

Anthony Comstock the influential politician and religious zealot who became a U. S. Postal Inspector, considered Sanger’s pamphlets on sex education and clinics providing contraception advice to be pornographic and obscene. His imposed personal views set U.S. public health and medical education back decades.

After her arrest for publishing and distributing contraceptive information, Margaret fled to Europe under an assumed name to avoid prosecution that could have carried up to a 45-year sentence. She studied methods of contraception in the Netherlands and returned to open the first birth control clinic in the U.S. in 1916. She and her sister Ethel Byre, also a nurse, provided contraceptive information and treated 486 patients in ten days, before the NYPD Comstock Vice Squad swept in to arrest the nurses and patients.

Ethel nearly died in jail during a hunger strike to raise awareness for their cause. Margaret was sentenced to the penitentiary for thirty days and upon release, reopened her clinic in protest. She founded the American Birth Control League in 1922 that eventually became Planned Parenthood of America.

Margaret Sanger’s desire to help women fueled her lifelong activism to teach contraceptive methods and advance sex education. The Catholic Church considered Margaret an enemy and opposed her work, but she had seen what continual pregnancies had done to her devout mother and others in poverty, producing huge families.

Support and fortunes of philanthropic people like International Harvester heir Katherine McCormick, John D. Rockefeller, and Margaret’s second husband, oil magnate James Noah Slee, fueled her campaigns for birth control and research for an oral contraceptive. Sanger and McCormick both lived to see the success of their efforts when the FDA approved the first oral contraceptive, Enovid, in 1960.

In 1972, the Supreme Court finally struck down the last of the oppressive Comstock law that restricted doctors from prescribing oral contraceptives to unmarried women ending nearly one hundred years of Comstock tyranny.

NOW

Ultraconservative legislators in Texas and other states have defunded Planned Parenthood. More than fifty years after the epic moment in 1960 making birth control pills available, women are fighting the same old battle, the right to self-determination and contraception.

Some legislators at the national level have vowed to defund Planned Parenthood clinics across the United States. Those who fight to defund the clinics and legislate reduced contraceptive availability are antiabortionists. They vehemently attack clinics that provide abortions, leading to violence and terroristic murder of healthcare personnel. Planned Parenthood provides healthcare to both men and women, education, contraceptives, treatment of sexually transmitted diseases and they offer fertility consultation.

Comprehensive sex education and free contraceptives reduce unplanned pregnancies and abortions. Why would those against abortion defund Planned Parenthood clinics limiting access to education and birth control, thus increasing the need for abortions?

Abortions have been a legal right under U.S. law since the Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973. That decision deemed abortion a fundamental right under the U.S. Constitution. Roe, a single pregnant woman brought a class action suit against the constitutionality of the Texas abortion laws that made abortion a crime except to save the life of the mother. District Attorney Wade was the defendant. The historic decision overturned the Texas law and held a woman and her doctor could choose abortion in earlier months of pregnancy without legal restriction, and with restrictions in later months based on right to privacy.

Any adult has the right to make personal decisions based on their religious views. However, our founding principle of separation of church and state in the U.S. means no one as the right to impose their religious views on others.

Broad availability of birth control education and contraception has been shown to reduce unplanned pregnancies and reduce the need for abortions.

Betty Kuffel, MD FACP

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Update on Birth Control and STDs

Essential Information for Men and Women

Birth Control 2016

A quick-read reference that could save your life

During years of providing healthcare as an emergency physician I found both men and women lacked important information related to sexual health and contraception. These topics are often not discussed with knowledgeable people and misinformation is believed. Internet sources may not be accurate. Health information provided in schools is incomplete.

Medical information in this booklet is the science-based biology of reproduction and the latest contraceptive options for men and women. Details include a factual basis for discussing sexuality with partners and maturing children.

Responsible sexual practices must include a solid comprehension of contraception to prevent unplanned pregnancies and avoiding sexually transmitted diseases. Some STDs are curable, some are not. Some of them could kill you. Learn about STDs, their treatment and prevention.

Rape is common and often unreported. Learn safety actions to avoid assault, but if you are assaulted, learn what to do to increase the likelihood of prosecution.

Betty Kuffel, MD FACP

Birth Control Front Cover - J-Peg

Amazon link:

http://tinyurl.com/BirthControl-2016

Kindle: $2.99

Paperback: $5.99

 

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A Woman’s Right to Birth Control

Feminist Margaret Higgins Sanger was born in 1879. She fought for women’s rights throughout her life and coined the term birth control. Her close view of the plight of women began at home. Her mother had eighteen pregnancies and died at age forty. Margaret and her ten surviving siblings existed in a poor Irish Roman Catholic home in New York with her alcoholic father. After she became a nurse and cared for poor women suffering from unwanted pregnancies and complications of back-alley abortions, her drive for social change began.

During her marriage to architect William Sanger, they raised three children, while she continued to work for legalization of birth control. Sanger’s feminist publication The Woman Rebel, addressed women’s rights and provided birth control education. She fought to make contraceptives available in a world that prohibited sale and publication of “obscene and immoral materials” thought the Comstock Act. Margaret avoided jail time for her activities by fleeing to England.

After returning to the U.S., Margaret opened the first birth control clinic in the US with her sister and staff. They were all arrested for providing contraception information and fitting women with diaphragms.

In 1921, she started the American Birth Control League that later became Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Two years later, she opened the first legal birth control clinic in the US with the support of her second husband J. Noah H Slee, a wealthy businessman who funded her efforts for social reform.

Margaret Sanger and Katharine McCormick, International Harvester heiress, joined forces in funding and energizing research in human reproduction that led to oral contraceptive development. I remember well, when Enovid became available. As a nurse I cared for many women who nearly died at the hands of untrained abortionists. I have seen the harm first hand. The medical community welcomed the scientific advancement of oral contraceptives, yet today actions of some in Congress suppress access and harm women.

Approximately half of pregnancies are unintended. Today there are many safe methods of contraception to prevent an unwanted pregnancy. Abortion is not birth control and should not be used as such.

Planned Parenthood provides a wide range of healthcare. Defunding the organization is a terrible setback in women’s health. The work and legacies of many rational dedicated women who have worked for the betterment of women is a stake.

Improving sex education and access to healthcare for contraceptives can prevent unwanted pregnancies. Margaret Sanger, Katharine McCormick and their colleagues, including today’s advocates like Cecile Richards are inspirational women.

A vote for Hillary is a vote for women’s rights.

Betty Kuffel, MD FACP20160930_072734

 

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A Woman’s Right and Responsibility

Opportunities achieved through activism have provided better lives for women. During the time period when strong women fought for our right to vote, many oppressed women did not participate. Achieving the right to vote in 1920 through enactment of the 19th Amendment, opened the path for all women to have their voices heard.

Today every woman can take action by voting.

Women’s votes in the November 2016 presidential election are needed to elect Hillary Rodham Clinton. Hillary is a women’s rights and human rights advocate. Her expertise in international affairs far exceeds all other candidates. A vote for Hillary is a vote for middle class America and against corporate greed.

Influential and inspirational women who make the world a better place are not always exalted leaders. They may be young or old, rich or poor. Malala Yousafzai inspired the world with her fight for human rights and education for women, after being shot on her school bus by a Pakistani gunman. She is the youngest Nobel Prize laureate, ever, and has a long life ahead to make changes and elevate the status of women around the world.

Many influential women go unrecognized in the world today and in the United States of America. The current political and health environment has made women’s health choices difficult, particularly the poor. Birth control, actually the lack of birth control, has been in the news, but not nearly on public television as much as Viagra and Cialis ads.

Why is it insurances and politicians are in favor of and authorize payment for erection dysfunction drugs but not birth control? Aren’t they both personal health options?

 

Betty Kuffel, MD FACP20160930_072745

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Table photo books

Chocolate, Wine and a Good Book

Grouse Mountain Lodge

Saturday June 4th 2016

5-9 pm

 

Sponsored by:

Whitefish Library Association

Whitefish Community Foundation

 Please join local authors at this book event!

Refreshments, sparkling beverages, decadent chocolate and opportunities to meet authors and their new books.

1st DOROTHY JOHNSON AWARD

will be presented

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Free Kindle Book

FREE KINDLE.6 (2)

Birth Control 2016  is a simplified science-based explanation of the biology of reproduction, current methods of birth control, prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, the diseases and their treatments. Sexual assault information, details of reporting, and self-protection are included. This small reference contains essential information for men and women to know, and to discuss the topics with each other and their maturing children.

April is designated as STD Awareness month by the CDC. For additional information: CDC – STD information

Please write a review on Amazon. Share the free offer with others and encourage friends to read the updated information.

Thanks for stopping by to check out the new book.

Betty

 

 

 

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SUNRISE WRITING

 

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Yesterday morning this beautiful sunrise caught my attention after I’d been up writing for a couple hours. The view is from my deck looking toward Bad Rock Canyon and the west entrance to Glacier Park. I love watching the sky changes each morning at sunup with varying colors painting the clouds, like my fascination of flickering flames in a campfire. It is true the most brilliant colors are just before dawn.

During my years of working long hours in medicine, I didn’t write every day like I do now, but I still found time to write. I actually completed the first three, and outlined two additional volumes, in a medical thriller series  – in addition to a bio-thriller and a romantic intrigue. But, before final edits on the fiction, I felt compelled to complete the three nonfiction books I have published, all with important timely medical information.  Author Page on Amazon

Now that I have more time after retiring from medicine, I am focused on completing edits and honing the many manuscripts for publication or submission to an agent. Work got in the way in previous years, now I have no excuse. However, I do get sidetracked with other writing projects. For example, my sister Bev and I co-authored a novel set in 1960 in Northern MN. We are in another rewrite on that. We also share writing a monthly magazine women’s health column. In March, I took a play-writing class (one person play) from a friend who is a renowned playwright. I loved it and am making progress.

Later this week I’ll have another blog regarding my latest book, Birth Control 2016, available on Kindle free on April 30th and May 1. I hope you will take advantage of the offer and share it with your friends. More information to follow.

DSC04573Betty and Valkyrie at Whitefish City Beach last fall.

Val is 13 1/2 and doing great.

 

 

Betty

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Coffee Traders – Birds on a Wire

004Last week an author friend and I were invited to be guests on an hour-long radio show. Each Thursday morning from 10-11, the WhitefishCommunityRadio.com internet radio show “Birds on a Wire” is live from Coffee Traders in downtown Whitefish, MT. This documentary series is about life in a coffee shop…who, why and other. Caffeine helps people “chirp” and it’s cheaper at home but, at the shop, one gets to meet and greet who else is …on the wire.”

For years, at this Whitefish location author friends have met to share writing concepts, critique books, plan conferences, and solve imminent world problems. If you would like to join us for coffee, show up at 0830 on Tuesdays and Thursdays or listen to our recent conversation by clicking the link above, go to “Birds” on February 11 th.  Lavonne Mueller, playwright, and I had fun talking with hosts Sandy and Richard. 029 013

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Share YOUR HEART

February is National Heart Month!

Heart disease is the #1 cause of death, but
with the right knowledge and actions, it is preventable.

We’d like to share our heart health guide FREE as a Valentine gift for you, your friends and family members. Click on YOUR HEART and it will take you to the Amazon purchase page where you and your friends can download a kindle copy of YOUR HEART FREE. 2016 Promo Graphic - 2

If you are healthy and want to stay that way, or if you are overweight, have diabetes or heart disease, our book Your Heart, can help. It provides the science behind coronary artery disease with actions to improve health and longevity, including information on the 5/2 Mediterranean diet. This is a healthy way to maintain your weight over a lifetime. It’s easy and it works. Overweight children show signs of early heart disease. The book contains information on how to keep kids healthy, too.

Please share this link with everyone! Your Heart

Happy Valentines Day and Have a healthy 2016.


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Who are the Pedophiles?

Learn Pedophile Characteristics and Save a Child

In February 2012, Daniel Sayers, an NYPD auxiliary police officer who retired after 37 years of service was arrested for child pornography. He owned a children’s sports club for 25 years and coached young children. His massive photo stash of naked boys involved in sex acts gravely concerned the department he had worked with so many years. Federal law has criminalized possession, manufacture and distribution of child pornography.

Joining the ranks of pedophile priests, school teachers, police officers and judges, prominent sports figures and university coaches have had child sex abuse allegations filed against them in the past year. Parents often worry about their children being victims of stranger abductions and teach them to avoid parked cars and strangers asking for help. But naive caregivers are unaware that most child molesters are men they know and trust, friends and relatives who are sexually attracted to children.

Pedophiles commonly have collections of photos, typically of children they have molested and those of the age and sex they desire. In the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, the American Psychiatric Association designates pedophilia as a mental illness. This complex disorder of thought and desire typically begins in young adolescent males and extends over a lifetime. Intense sexual fantasies about children may be fueled by pornography. Years in prison and counseling are ineffective.

Because pedophiles often operate in plain view and in positions of power, they usually display normal behaviors and are difficult to detect. They may be generous and helpful, offering to care for children. Youth pastors, scout leaders, special education teachers, babysitters, coaches and fitness coaches, are common positions where you will find them. For example, a retired Yankee baseball player and a youth coach in Oyster Bay, NY, was arrested for victimizing an 8-year-old-girl player.

Pedophile photosA number of key pedophile characteristics are: unmarried men with few or no friends their age, in homes with child attractants such as a game room set up for children, and collections of toys and videos for kids. Teens who hang out with younger children bear close watching. If you see a combination of these elements, be cognizant of child reactions in their presence. When a child tries to avoid a certain uncle, babysitter or situation, be vigilant and follow their cues. Abused children are usually silenced by their molester with fear and cannot initially disclose the harm they’ve endured. (Photos are convicted pedophiles including: a priest, father, brother, grandfather, teacher, doctor, etc.)

Pedophiles become adept liars concealing their deeds and showing no empathy for the children they harm. Parents must learn to watch for pedophile traits, teach their children safe behavior and to report any incident that makes them fearful or uncomfortable.

Until recently, many child victims were not believed because abusers are often friends or prominent community figures. Families concealed known or suspected abuse. They did not want to bring out scandal by exposing the abuser. But they fail to consider how their inaction causes harm to future victims.

When crimes against children are hidden, the victimized child is abandoned. Even if the molestation stops, without treatment the traumatic effects of abuse may last a lifetime. Abuse or suspected abuse must be reported to child protective services and to the police. Pedophiles cannot stop. They must be prosecuted.

Dr. Kuffel is the author of Eyes of a Pedophile: Detecting Child Predators.
The book is available on a special price reduction for the month of February for $2.99.

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