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Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan New Jersey Milestones

1917 Cora Louise Hartshorn hears Margaret Sanger speak at a rally in Carnegie Hall protesting the closing of a birth control clinic.

1923 Sanger opens the Birth Control Clinical research Bureau in New York for the purpose of dispensing contraceptives to women under the supervision of a licensed physician and studying the effect of contraception upon women's health.

The Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is introduced in Congress.

1926 Sanger asks her friend Henrietta Hart to explore the possibility of opening a birth control clinic in New Jersey. Hart appeals to Hartshorn for help. Hartshorn organizes the Short Hills Birth Control Committee. She holds parlor parties to raise funds for the Clinic where Sanger often speaks.

1928 A statewide committee called the New Jersey Birth Control League is formed. The League opens the Newark Maternal Health Care Center, located at 47 New Street in 1928, which finally becomes Planned Parenthood of Essex County. It is the first center in New Jersey. Women come from all over the state to use the facility.

Funded entirely from private donations, the primary function of the clinic is the dissemination of birth control information to married women. The clinic staff includes only a doctor and nurse/receptionist. Criteria for the early patients is that a woman has to be married, have at least five children, and be unable to afford a private physician.

1929 Marian K. Chubb, a league member from Orange, has her first parlor party in March where she raises $430. Before her death, just shy of 100, she is responsible for a grant of $95,000 donated to the Newark clinic, which becomes the Chubb Center.

1934 Hartshorn campaigns with Sanger for a national Birth Control Bill, which would legalize contraceptive devices and birth control.

1936 Judge Augustus Hand, writing for a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in the case of Us v. One Package, rules that the U.S. Tariff Act of 1930 cannot be construed to forbid the importing of contraceptives for use by physicians in saving lives or promoting well-being. Judge Hand bases his decision in part on clinical data outlining the dangers of pregnancy and the usefulness of contraception, saying that, if this evidence had been available to Congress earlier, Congress would never have defined birth control as obscene.

Eight Maternal Health Centers are operating in New Jersey. The second center is established in July 1933. A third center in Morristown is opened in November and a fourth in December of 1933. By 1934, a fifth center is established in Englewood. The Montclair Center is opened in March 1935 followed by a center in Asbury Park in October 1935. By May 1936, a center has been established in Camden.

1937 The American Medical Association officially recognizes birth control as an integral part of medical practice and education.

1938 Paterson and Woodbine Centers added with 20,898 referrals for all 10 centers. The Montclair Center is housed in the outpatient clinic of Mountainside Hospital.

1940 First newsletter published by the National Committee for Planned Parenthood, chaired by Margaret Sanger.

1941 The New Jersey Birth Control League is renamed the New Jersey League for Planned Parenthood. Hartshorn is active in the organization, particularly the Essex County District, until her death in 1958.

1944 The Sanger Bureau establishes a fertility service to help childless couples.

1948 Representatives from more than 20 nations attend the International Conference on Population and World Resources in Relation to the Family. The conference leads to the formation of the International Planned Parenthood Committee.

1950 The American Medical Association announces its support for testing and possible use of RU486 in the U.S.

Planned Parenthood of Essex County receives the PEPE award for excellence from Planned Parenthood Federation of America that recognizes services to minorities.

1951 Showing that injections of the steroid progesterone suppress ovulation in laboratory animals, Dr. Pincus persuades the Searle Co. to undertake extensive research aimed at developing a contraceptive injection of pill.

1953 The Montclair, Newark and Short Hills League merge on April 1 to become the Essex County Committee of Planned Parenthood.

1960 The Food and Drug Administration approves the sale of oral steroid pills for contraception.

1962 The first International Conference on IUDs (intrauterine devices) is held in New York, leading to a major collaborative effort to evaluate the safety and effectiveness of IUDs, under the leadership of Dr. Christopher Tietze.

1965 The U.S. Supreme Court in the case of Griswold v. Connecticut rules that Connecticut's law prohibiting the use of birth control by married couples violates a newly defined right of marital privacy. As a result, 10 states liberalize their family planning services with tax funds.

1969 The agency's name was officially changed to Planned Parenthood of Essex County.

1970 Congress enacts Title X of the Public Health Services Act, providing support and funding for family planning services and educational programs, and for biomedical and behavioral research in reproduction and contraceptive development.

1971 Planned Parenthood of Essex County renders service to 6,831 women, whose total medical visits number 11,237. Volunteer hours contributed are: clerical 165; R.N. 140; receptionist 454; and doctor's assistants 289 numbering 1,048 in all.

Marian K. Chubb Center at 15 William Street in Newark dedicated at the Annual Meeting.

1972 In Eisenstadt v. Baird, the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down a Massachusetts statute that bars the distribution of contraceptives to unmarried people.

1973 In Roe v. Wade, the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down the 1859 Texas law that prohibited abortions except to save a woman's life. The court rules that the constitutional right of privacy extends to a woman decision, in consultation with her doctor to have an abortion.

On the same grounds, Doe V. Bolton strikes down a 1968 abortion reform statute in the state of Georgia that had prohibited abortions, except in cases of medical necessity, rape, incest, and fetal abnormality. It had required all abortions to be performed in hospitals, and had mandated the approval of two doctors and a committee before an abortion could be performed.

The National Right to Life Committee is organized by the U.S. Catholic Conference's Family Life Division, which is administered by the National Conference of Catholic Bishops. The express purpose of the committee is to overturn these U.S. Supreme Court decisions by constitutional amendment if necessary. The legislation it supports would outlaw the most effective forms of birth control, as well as abortion.

Believing that reproductive freedom is intrinsically tied to religious liberty, the Religious Coalition for Abortion Rights and Catholics for a Free Choice are founded to support the right to family planning and abortion.

1974 At Planned Parenthood of Essex County (PPEC), 1,581 Newark co-ed students receive six-week sex education course in their health education classes. Six Newark schools, six community agencies and one college receive sexuality education; 340 students participate in one-day workshops for teens: 50 physical education teachers receive in-service training to prepare them for sexuality education; four special parent workshops are held on the topic "How to Tell Your Child About Sex."

PPEC takes the lead in organizing the New Jersey Family Planning League, which consists of five affiliates and two other Family planning agencies.

Executive Director of PPEC receives recognition by Hispanic population for being the only health agency interested in the Welfare of the Hispanic Community in Newark.

1976 PPEC is the 10th largest of the 198 affiliates of Planned Parenthood/World Population. A male clinic is developed, the first of its kind in the county, for men of all ages.

1979 In Bellotti v. Baird, the U.S. Supreme Court finds that the Massachusetts statute restricting minors access to abortion is unconstitutional as interpreted by the Massachusetts Supreme Court. The U.S. Supreme Court rules that, if states require minors to obtain parental consent for an abortion, they must also give minors the alternative of obtaining the consent of a judge, in confidential proceedings and without first notifying their parents.

In Colautti v. Franklin, the U.S. Supreme Court strikes down a Pennsylvania law that requires a physician about to perform an abortion to first determine whether the fetus is or may be viable in the grounds that the meaning of viable or may be viable is unclear. The court holds that physicians must make the determination of when a fetus is viable on a case-by-case basis.

1980 Egner Suburban clinic opens in Verona and PPEC moves into 151 Washington Street from 15 William Street in Newark.

1987 PPEC expands medical services to include HIV/AIDS as part of a new STD program. Evening and Saturday hours are added to four centers and additional family planning services are offered to two Newark Community Health Centers.

1985 Passaic County Committee for Planned Parenthood moves into Pauline Bograd Center (named for the Bograd family in Paterson for their significant contributions) on Market Street in Paterson.

1989 Hundreds of thousands of pro-choice advocates travel to Washington, D.C., on April 9, to join the March for Women's Equality/Women's Lives.

Choice NJ is founded representing 39 pro-choice organizations in New Jersey.

The U.S. Supreme Court, on July 3, rules, in Webster v. Reproductive Health Services, that states may place increased restrictions on women's access to abortion. With the issue of abortion rights thrown back to the states, divisive legislative and electoral battles at the state level quickly follow.

The Paterson Alternative Care Center for Adolescents is instituted at the Passaic County Committee for Planned Parenthood.

On November 12, two million pro-choice advocates participate in "Mobilization for Women's Lives" across the U.S. and Washington, D.C., comprising 1,000 pro-choice events across the county.

1991 The Montclair Center opens after successful capital campaign.

1992 The Supreme Court upholds new Pennsylvania roadblocks to abortion, including a mandatory 24-hour waiting period, a parental-consent provision for minors, and the provision of state-authored anti-abortion materials. Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey reaffirms the right to abortion but outlines a weaker standard of review, allowing restrictions unless they constitute an undue burden to the woman. Four of the nine justices argue that Roe should be overturned outright.

1993 The morning after pill, or emergency contraception, is introduced in PPEC clinics, and the Depo Provera contraceptive becomes available as well.

Support Center opens next door to Chubb Center in Newark with four full time counselors and a part-time receptionist.

1994 The first annual Tribute to Brotherhood and Neighborhood Conference co-sponsored by PPECs Brotherhood Program and the University of Medicine and Dentistry (UMDNJ) is held in Newark.

1995 With the merge of Passaic County Committee of Planned Parenthood, the agency's name was changed to Planned Parenthood of Metropolitan New Jersey.

1997 On October 10, President Bill Clinton vetoes a bill that would ban certain abortion procedures, the so-called Partial-Birth Abortion Ban Act of 1997, H.R. 1122.

U.S. District Judge Anne Thompson issues a temporary restraining order barring enforcement of New Jerseys so-called partial birth abortion bill. The action is taken shortly after the NJ State Senate joins the Assembly in overriding Governor Christie Todd Whitman's veto of the bill.

Reproductive health care services at PPMNJ include: Pap smears, breast exams, pregnancy tests, diabetes screenings, testing for vaginal infections, urinary tract infection screenings, prenatal care, emergency contraception, colposcopy services, midlife services, physical exams, blood tests, routine urinalysis, blood pressure, cholesterol screenings, treatment supplies, contraceptive supplies, and STD screenings, including HIV oral testing.

On August 14, Federal Judge Richard G. Kopf (appointed by President Reagan) preliminarily enjoined enforcement of Nebraska's partial-birth abortion law against the plaintiff, Dr. Leroy Carhart. The court concludes: "Simply put, we cannot constitutionally allow the life or health of a woman to be made subservient to the states otherwise profound interest in a nonviable fetus."

1998 The New Jersey Senate Health Committee and Assembly Health Committee consider a bill proposing a mandatory 24-hour delay for women seeking abortions. Five other anti-choice bills are filed.

Family Planning Advocates of New Jersey introduces an initiative entitled Spend a Little, Save a Lot to the legislature  urging them to spend $3.5 million on family planning that would save the state $12 million. It fails.

In honor of PPMNJ's 70th Birthday, Donald Bradley, President of the Newark Municipal Council presents a citation to PPMNJ members of the Board of Trustees and staff. Delores Tyson, PPMNJ's President and CEO, receives the Excellence in Service medallion, the highest award that the city bestows for service to the city of Newark.

Governor Whitman signs Parental Notification for Abortion legislation. NJ Supreme Court declares it unconstitutional.

Unveiled by PPFA President Gloria Feldt at a National Press Club briefing, the Responsible Choices Action Agenda, a forward-looking, proactive advocacy and service initiative is launched to expand and secure reproductive health and rights into the 21st century. Key to reaching the goals of the agenda to increase services that prevent unintended pregnancy; improve the quality of reproductive health care; ensure access to abortion; and deliver the messages to achieve this agenda. Key to this is the development of an informed, grassroots activist base, the Responsible Choices Action Network, which grows in four years to number more than 800,000 women and men.

Contraceptive coverage for federal employees is included in the Treasury-Postal Appropriations bill and signed into law by President Bill Clinton.

On October 23, an anti-abortion extremist uses a rifle to shoot Barnett A. Slepian, M.D., through the kitchen window as he stands in his upstate New York kitchen with his children.

2001 Resolution to amend the NJ Constitution for parental notification for any pregnancy related procedure fails. A bill to stress abstinence in sex education classes in New Jersey public schools passes.

2002 With the election of President George W. Bush, attacks on abortion rights and family planning increase. He appoints a long time anti-choice opponent to become Attorney General. He cuts off funding for family planning organizations overseas that promote or perform abortions. He withholds funds from UNPFA that had previously been approved by Congress and signed by him.

Governor James McGreevey elected in New Jersey over Bret Shundler, an anti-choice Republican, with the endorsement of the Planned Parenthood Action Fund. It is the first time the group has chosen to endorse a candidate for governor and does so only because Shundler made campaign promises to take away state funding for family planning at Planned Parenthood centers.


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