How William Sanger Inspired Me to Pro-Choice Activism

Ms. Magazine | 06-08-2012

In my family, being pro-choice comes naturally. This is not just because the ghost of my grandmother, Margaret Sanger, would rise from her grave to wreak vengeance on any of her relations who dare stray from the path. It is also because the guys have the model of my grandfather, William Sanger, to emulate.

My grandfather was an interesting man, who didn’t quite realize who he was marrying. To be fair, my grandmother didn’t know the ground breaker she would become as she walked down the aisle either. William Sanger was a radical, advanced in his thinking, and he supported his wife when she started her birth control advocacy, which began after 10 years of mostly sedate marriage. My grandmother promptly got herself indicted for obscenity under the Comstock Law and fled the country before she could be convicted and jailed. 


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