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  • shelleybrill shared a letter in the Group logo of Women's EmpowermentWomen's Empowerment group 2 weeks, 2 days ago

    To the Woman Who Gave Me a Professional Purpose

    Dear Margaret Sanger,
    Many years ago I was hired as a pharmaceutical representative to sell birth control. At the time, I did not give much thought as to how fortunate women are when it comes to deciding when they will birth a baby. But at some point I got curious. When did contraception become available to women in this country? To my surprise, I learned that up until the 1900’s any mention or dissemination of literature or actual birth control options was illegal. So what did I do? Well of course first I googled, which lead me to read the very interesting biography of the amazing advocate for the reproductive freedom movement, Margaret Sanger.
    Margaret, you were so brave to publish the first articles on women’s sexuality in a very candid way. You stirred up a-lot of controversy but at the same time many women also supported your writings. You worked as a visiting nurse in NYC and met women who were performing dangerous life threatening abortions on themselves out of desperation. When one very desperate woman, who already had many children, asked her doctor if there was anything she could to prevent pregnancy he just suggested abstinence. These types of insensitive and unrealistic attitudes motivated you to begin educating women in a public forum about birth control. For this, you were arrested. You were forced to flee the country and live abroad until the American society was ready to be enlightened on this subject. You were so passionate and dedicated to the well being of women.
    Margaret, many people do not know you were the founder of Planned Parenthood, an organization that has treated thousands of women, offering a wide array of gynecological services at a very affordable level. You impacted my life because you inspired me and impassioned me to be a voice for those who cannot advocate for themselves. Reading about your challenging journey to provide women with reproductive freedom, I became a better sales representative. You put my heart into every word I expressed to my customers. Those doctors I spoke to went on to provide more viable, safe birth control choices for their patients. You gave me a purpose to my career and a great pride in my work. Thank you, my hero, Margaret Sanger, a liberator for all women.

    Shelley Brill
    Mother of 2 amazing children Lauren and Andrew Brill

    Shelley Brill
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    • Shelley,
      I remember when I did my own research on Margaret Sanger. Conversations that I had with my Mom propelled me towards the pro choice advocacy I have today. When I first learned of the doctors plea to actually abort me due to the extreme risk to her life my birth presented I immediately researched all I could. Empowering women with a choice about when and how they would bear children was astounding! To know that choices my Mother was given weren’t always available made me question a lot of things.

      Recently with the overturn of Roe, I am scared. Not only because we are undoing the legacy of women like Margaret, we are returning to those dark days when a woman’s voice was silenced.

      Thank you for sharing your experiences with us in this letter.

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      • Hi Roger,
        It so comforting to know there are other people out there who understand the importance of reproductive freedom and reproductive choice. This freedom adds to the health and safety of women. I do hope more people in this country start to see that there are many life threatening gynecological situations that require medical intervention. Giving physicians the right to perform these procedures will save precious lives.
        That being said, I am glad your Mother made the choice to have you! You are her legacy.

        Shelley

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        • My Mom shaped a lot of the things in my life. Her half brother was a gay man in his life. He faced nearly impossible torment in his life. My Mom was his best ally and advocate. It shaped my support of the LGBT community. Her experiences and lessons stay with me and close to my heart always. She was someone to really behold.

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