1942 March 5

American Birth Control Federation Changes Name to Planned Parenthood


The leaders of the American Birth Control Federation, the leading birth control advocacy and service organization in the U.S., announced on this day, that it was changing its name to the Planned Parenthood Federation of America (PPFA), the name by which it is known today.

The origins of the American Birth Control Federation reached back to November 1, 1921, when Margaret Sanger created the American Birth Control League, the first national birth control organization in the country. It changed its name to the American Birth Control Federation on January 18, 1939.

Adoption of the name “Planned Parenthood” generated some controversy. Margaret Sanger had always insisted on the term “birth control,” and opposed euphemism, which she thought “family planning” was. The leaders who adopted the term “planned parenthood,” in fact, regarded it as a euphemism, believing that “birth control” alienated many people and potential supporters.

Read: Ellen Chesler, Woman of Valor: Margaret Sanger and the Birth Control Movement in America (2007)

Learn more about Sanger: https://www.nwhm.org/education-resources/biography/biographies/margaret-sanger/

Learn more about Planned Parenthood today: http://www.plannedparenthood.org/

And more about Sanger: Jean H. Baker, Margaret Sanger: A Life of Passion (2011)

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