Victoria Woodhull and Voluntary Motherhood

The late 19th century notion of voluntary motherhood emphasized the right to choose if and when to reproduce. First-wave feminists like Victoria Woodhull, who visited Ann Arbor in 1873, organized for free love and voluntary motherhood, promoting women’s reproductive rights as intimately connected to female suffrage and equality. However, like a substantial number of white women from privileged and educated backgrounds who advocated voluntary motherhood, Woodhull endorsed eugenic ideas that discouraged reproduction among working class and immigrant women.


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Margaret Sanger and Birth Control