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Used by permission from the Arizona Historical Society

Margaret Sanger Slee

1879 -1966


In 1914 Margaret Sanger started a crusade that would generate worldwide benefits. Influenced by her childhood and her career as a nurse, Margaret became convinced that family planning was a necessity for the well being of individual women. She worked throughout the rest of her life to advance the birth control movement.



A native of New York State, she later adopted Arizona as her home, moving to Tucson to improve her adult son’s health in 1934.  Soon after her arrival, she worked with local women to found the Mother’s Health Clinic which distributed contraceptives.  A few years later, she helped Phoenix women to start a birth control clinic in their city, which opened in 1937.  Sanger inspired a group of volunteers who staffed these clinics, offering women the option of controlling their fertility. In Tucson, Sanger also raised funds for the Tucson Medical Center and served on the hospital board, making lasting contributions to improved health care in southern Arizona.

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