In 1912, Margaret Sanger was a nurse serving poor Lower East Side women like Sadie Sachs, a mother of three who had been warned that another pregnancy would kill her. When Sadie asked her doctor how to prevent pregnancy, he told her to tell her husband to sleep on the roof. Pregnant again, Sadie self-induced an abortion, contracted an infection and died.

Quote from an article written by Gloria Feldt in The New York Times

The above quoted article goes on to explain that Margaret Sanger tried to help women in Sadie’s position learn more about birth control by writing a sex education column. She titled it, “What Every Girl Should Know.” When her column was censored due to obscenity laws, the paper ran an empty box with the title, “What Every Girl Should Know — nothing by order of the United States Post Office!”

Today the Republican Party in Ohio blocks education that would reduce the need for abortion. It claims to oppose abortion and yet it prevents policies that would help women have the information they need to make the best choices for their bodies and their lives. Today’s headline could read, “What Every Girl Should Know — nothing by order of the Republican Party!”

Fortunately my friends and I have have a better idea. We want to move women’s equality forward.

Last night at a house party for Planned Parenthood, I spoke with several allies in the struggle to protect women’s rights. I put together a video of quick comments from David Robinson, Representative Ted Celeste, and Gary Dougherty, State Legislative Director at Planned Parenthood Affiliates of Ohio,  about women’s reproductive health rights. 

I also filmed a cute cat meowing at a pink balloon. Watch this video for whichever is more important to you…

This morning a friend of mine watched this video and it inspired her to share a story with me. She wrote…

Here’s a family anecdote for you. My older sister was born in 1952. When my mom couldn’t conceive again they thought she would be an only child. The doctors tried many things (my mom’s nursing career started out in obstetrics) including blowing air through her fallopian tubes…really. Anyway, I came along six years later and then my younger sister was a surprise. At the time my parents decided that three was good even though they didn’t have a boy (they were thrilled with two kids and ecstatic with three). Our family lived in Cincinnati at the time and my mom wanted to get her tubes tied. There was only one practice in the area that did the procedure. My mom needed my dad’s written permission to even make the request. She was denied because she was only 35 years old and only had three kids…honest to God! Then my dad went out and got a vasectomy, no questions asked.

This underscored for me the weird things people think that have nothing to do with medicine and science. And even before I was old enough to vote I was aware that women and men were not treated equally. When my kids were born (11 months apart) I considered getting my tubes tied and even in 1989 the OB wanted to talk to my husband first (he did look apologetic when I looked to be working up to a hissy fit about that – it was the policy of the practice he said). Yet when my husband went to visit the doctor about getting a vasectomy they acted weird that I wanted to go with him to talk to the doctor.

Sexism is still far too powerful in our culture. This past year, we have been witnessing the most aggressive legislative attacks on women’s health and rights in a generation.

Women are Watching is Planned Parenthood Action Fund’s 2012 campaign to educate women across the country about the unprecedented attacks on women’s health and where candidates stand on pivotal health care issues.

We are watching, educating our friends, taking action, having house parties, raising funds, learning our history and





Story, photos and video by Lauren Michelle Kinsey
follow @OHLMK

  • Catfan13

    I can bring it forward in time.  I was a 28 year unmarried woman in a committed relationship in 1997.  My partner (later my husband) and I decided that having biological children was not in the cards for us.  My health even then was not fabulous. I was already on medications that were known to be bad combinations with pregnancy, but also medications that if I went off could be even more threatening.    I was flat out told, no doctor would tie my tubes for me.

  • Lucretia Pollard

    Powerful and effective interweaving of personal narrative, interviews, research and one very cute kitty!

  • annekarima53

    Well…I was around 26….had one child and no husband.  Said to my obgyn that I wanted no more children – ever.   My tubes were cut and tied – period.  The year I think was 1979.   Don’t let them take away your power – ever.

  • kmo

    These are important stories to continue to tell.  One good thing that came out of the Rush rant against Ms Fluke was the discovery by many of her generation that such vitriol still exists when it comes to women and their health care concerns.  After Rush made his stance known, many others ‘rushed’ to defend him and decry Ms Fluke as a planted operative who was no innocent law student.  This reaction showed many, for the first time in their generation, just how dangerous being a woman with an opinion can continue to be.  Ladies and gentleman, please continue to tell your stories!  


    Sometimes women get lucky and get a healthcare provider who respects women’s right to control their own bodies. I’ve heard the advice to shop around if you get a no, and keep looking until you find one who will say yes. Some women don’t have the time and economic resources to do that though. We defiantly should all work together to eliminate sexism so no woman has to go through that kind of mistreatment. 


    Thank you! 


    I’m so sorry that happened to you. I will do all I can to change the culture so that stops happening to women. Thank you so much for sharing your story here. The more we talk about these issues, the more powerful our movement for equality becomes. 


    I agree! Thank you for emphasizing that important concept. I see it frequently that once people get a good look at what we’re up against, they’re much more motivated to get involved and work for positive change. 

  • Dee Nutter

    My sister in law had 2 kids by the time she was 23 and wanted her tubes tied in 1983. It took going to 3 doctors before she found one who was willing to tie her tubes.  Fast forward 15 years..she found herself divorced and re-married wanting to have another child with her new husband. Unfortunately, there was nothing the doctors could do for her to restore her fertility. SHe regrets more than she can say the decision she made to be sterilized.

  • Thank you, Dave! 

  • One woman making the wrong decision for herself should not mean that other women can’t be trusted to make decisions for their own bodies and lives. 

  • Abortion is a medical procedure that saves lives. 

  • Reg Smith

    But EVERY abortion results in at least one death. There is no getting around that fact. Abortion is more than a dangerous procedure. It is ALWAYS a fatal one. Where’s the ‘medical’ in that?

Looking for something?

Use the form below to search the site:

Still not finding what you're looking for? Drop a comment on a post or contact us so we can take care of it!