About Us: History
The Birth Control Movement and Planned Parenthood of Indiana
"It is not enough to look backwards with pride, justified as that pride may be. We must look forward with hope and confidence, too. The real lesson of the past is that it shows us what can be done in the future." Margaret Sanger
1932 Planned Parenthood of Indiana, Inc., originally the Indiana Birth Control League, was officially established February 4.
1933 The League incorporates as the Maternal Health League of Indiana and opens the Maternal Health Clinic in Indianapolis. Staff (and supporters) can provide only married women with two or more children medical care and information.
1934 The Maternal Health League was established in Evansville.
1936 Federal Comstock Laws, which prohibited publication and distribution of information about sex, sexuality, contraception and human reproduction, lifted.
1937 By the end of the year there were four maternal health leagues in Indiana—Indianapolis, Fort Wayne, South Bend, and Evansville, which eventually affiliated with Planned Parenthood.
1942 First year federal funding was used for family planning.
1955 Unmarried women can receive reproductive care and information for the first time.
1960 Planned Parenthood of Wabash Valley was established in Terre Haute. The Birth Control Pill was approved by the FDA for use by the public.
1963 Evansville health center becomes a test site for The Pill.
1964 Planned Parenthood was established in Bloomington. First Planned Parenthood health center opens in Gary.
1965 Planned Parenthood was established in Muncie. Griswold v. Connecticut struck down state laws that made birth control use by married couples illegal.
1970s Birth control pills were prescribed for emergency contraception (formerly known as the “morning after pill").
1971 Family Planning of Madison County, Inc. incorporated into Planned Parenthood.
1973 U.S. Supreme Court, in Roe v. Wade decision, recognizes woman’s right to privacy in health decisions and legalizes abortion in all 50 states.
1975 Planned Parenthood of South Central Indiana assumed administration of family planning programs in Brown, Bartholomew, and Jackson counties at the request of Indiana Family Planning and Health Council, as well as Family Planning Resources, Inc. The Planned Parenthood center in Lafayette opened. Planned Parenthood centers open in Portland and Marion.
1977 Planned Parenthood was organized in Fort Wayne.
1978 Abortion services begin in Merrillville.
1987 The East Central region becomes the first Planned Parenthood affiliate in the country to offer free HIV testing and counseling.
1991 Abortion services begin in Bloomington.
1995 Merger between Planned Parenthood of Southern Indiana and Planned Parenthood of Central Indiana occurred on January 1 to form Planned Parenthood of Central and Southern Indiana, Inc.
1997 Merger between the Tippecanoe County affiliate, and Planned Parenthood of Central and Southern Indiana, Inc. occurred on January 1.
1998 The FDA approved the first dedicated use of pills specifically for the purpose of preventing ovulation, fertilization or implantation after unprotected intercourse.
1999 Merger between East Central and Central and Southern affiliates on January 1.
2000 Merger between central/southern affiliate and affiliate in northwest/northeast established Planned Parenthood of Greater Indiana, Inc., in April. In September, the early option abortion pill is approved by the FDA providing women more privacy to have an abortion at home. In France, it was called RU-486. In U.S. the brand name is Mifeprex®.
2003 Planned Parenthood of Greater Indiana serves more 117,000 men and women with preventative services in Indiana. Through Pills by Mail, Bill A Pill and Emergency Contraception Online (ECOnline), Planned Parenthood of Greater Indiana., Inc., helps women from across the state to access reproductive health services locally and statewide.
2004 Merger between Planned Parenthood of Greater Indiana and Planned Parenthood of North Central Indiana affiliates established Planned Parenthood of Indiana on July 29.
For a more detailed history of the birth control movement in Indiana, check out The Faithful Few: A History of Planned Parenthood of Central Indiana, by Joseph F. Thompson, M.D., in the Planned Parenthood Resource Center, Indianapolis. The Resource Center has a number of other books on the history of the birth control movement available to the public.