Margaret's quest began long before she was known by the public. It started when she was just a young girl. As with most children, her parents were a large influence on her life, but in a way different than perhaps many others. Margaret's father provided her with all the mental tools she would need to succeed. A free thinker and outspoken radical, her father, Michael Higgins, influenced his young daughter to act the same way; to question everything and to stand up for what she believed in. Though Margaret loved her mother, she conceded that definetly her father was the major influence in her early life. Her mother however also had a large influence, yet not in quite the same way. Anna Sanger bore ten children other than Margaret, causing
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The Catholic church viewed itself as tradition, and it's teachings the teaching of tradition. The Catholic Church took the stance that there was one truth, that which they taught, and that truth did not evolve. The bible was the written words of the apostles, and therefore, there was no need to modify or change what was written. Pope Pius XI said, "the conjugal act is of it's very nature designed for the procreation of offspring; and therefore those performing it deliberately deprived of it?s natural power and efficacy, act against nature and do something shameful and intrinsically immoral".
At a time when so much was changing in societal norms, the Catholic Church refused to acknowledge these changes. Demonstrators met Sanger no matter where she went. They would chant and hold signs, calling her immoral and a sinner. Their need for tradition was the major problem that fed the battle with Sanger. Sanger battled back.
Sanger and her followers accused the church of wanting to keep women suppressed. She also argued that the church was fighting this battle out of greed. Smaller families gave less money to the church; Sanger said that the church wanted to keep women having babies to fill their schools and collections plates. Sanger was making a case against the church, trying to show that she the moral side of the battle, not the church.
In 1929, the church held the