I’m Just Saying

Contributed by Courtney Martin.
As you might imagine, when I interviewed Gloria Feldt, former president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America and current independent writer/speaker, I heard some pretty amazing stories in her still slightly detectable Texan accent. Gloria was behind planning the largest march in history on the Washington Mall in April 2004.
But what stuck with me most profoundly is what she told me about the moment her own life became, well, her own. In her young twenties, struggling with three kids, she had almost given up ever pursuing her own goals…and then she discovered contraception. The pill was approved for contraceptive use by the FDA in 1960 and the whole frickin’ world changed.
I recently read artist Ann Fessler’s amazing book, The Girls Who Went Away: The Hidden of Women Who Surrendered Children for Adoption in the Decades Before Roe v. Wade and it got me thinking all over again about how amazingly blessed I feel that, at 27, I have access to contraception—and as a result—access to my fullest life. I want to have children some day, but in the meantime, I’ve got a lot of shit I want to change in the world, a lot of stories I want to tell, and a lot of props to dish out. Thank you Margaret Sanger and Gloria Feldt and Estelle Griswold and William Baird and countless nameless others.

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