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Bessie Moses

Tuesday, November 30, 2021 (Dr. Hannah Bennett, Head of School at Briskin Elementary)

One would think that the accomplishments of a gynecologist who was born in 1893 would be irrelevant in 2021, but with the state of women’s health in our world today, we could all use some Bessie Moses mojo in our lives. Moses, a protégé of Margaret Sanger, found her purpose in the world of women’s contraceptives. She navigated the social stigma and legal quagmire surrounding female contraceptives in the early twentieth century and helped shape an organization that eventually became Planned Parenthood.

During her tenure, Moses fought to ensure that contraceptive instruction was included in medical schools and fought the Comstock Law to ensure that contraceptive materials could be disseminated via mail. Moses’ ultimate legacy is our access to contraception today.

In the face of legislation like S.B. 8, if Bessie Moses were alive today, she would most certainly be shocked to know that issues like access to abortion are still being legislated and litigated today.

Happy Chanukah everyone!

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