Back to the Future of U.S. Family Planning Services

“An essential skill that people in the family planning field have acquired over the years is the ability to survive in an atmosphere of controversy. And now, more than ever, family planning advocates must assert their leadership in articulating the demand for desperately needed services. In the past, solutions were sought at the federal level. In the future, every state must also be held accountable, while pressure for federal support without regressive regulation continues to be maintained. Disadvantaged women will be relying on family planning clinics not only to help them obtain the most effective contraceptive methods but, increasingly, to assist them in coping with the effects of living in a desolate social environment.”

Does the passage above sound familiar? Maybe you saw it in a recent study? Last week on HuffPost? Or did someone on TV say it—Rachel Maddow, perhaps, or Samantha Bee?

Sad to say: none of the above. This paragraph was the forward-looking conclusion of a review entitled “Family Planning Clinics—A Story of Growth and Conflict,” which appeared in our 20th anniversary issue—nearly 30 years ago.

Cover illustrations of Margaret Sanger © Matthew and Eve Levine