The Public Interest

The contraception paradox

Jessica Gress-Wright

Fall 1993

THE DEBATE over contraception is an old one. In 1916, Margaret Sanger, the founder of Planned Parenthood, was thrown in jail for offering advice and contraceptives to married women in Brooklyn. But the present controversy over giving contraceptives to teenagers dates, like so much else in the American culture wars, from the early 1970s, when contraceptives first became available to teens through publicly funded family planning programs.

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