The Birth Control Movement

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Life in the twenty-first century has its perks. There have been some amazing advances in the world, with major breakthroughs in science, medicine, technology, and more. But the part we take for granted most is our ability to be human beings. For the majority of history, women were seen as lesser than men. Men thought that they were emotional, hormone driven creatures with no greater purpose in life than to bear children. The enormous pressure on women to reproduce made it nearly impossible for them to advance politically or academically. With no ability to control their fertility, women were pushed to the background and were expected to stay there. However, through the course of history, many brave women and even men have done everything in…show more content…
Nonetheless, many scientists and doctors were working to perfect the pill. After many trials, the United States Food and Drug Administration approved the first birth control pill, Enovid, in 1960. Within five years, “…the pill became the most popular form of birth control in the United States, prescribed by 95 percent of obstetricians and gynecologists. By 1965, six and a half million married women and hundreds of thousands of unmarried women had obtained prescriptions for oral contraceptives” [Watkins 1998]. The legalization of the first oral contraceptive genuinely changed the outlook of many Americans on the concept of birth control. Women were starting to realize that sex didn’t have to be a chore – it could actually be fun. Although the first oral contraceptive received many positive reactions, there were also many skeptics who blamed it with the downfall of the American family. The Article “Love, Sex, Freedom and the Paradox of the Pill” explains how some people reacted to the legalization and acceptance of the birth control pill in society. They mention a new article that emerged in 1966, the U.S. News and World Report, which brandished the headline “Can its availability to all women of childbearing age lead to sexual anarchy?” [Gibbs 2010]. While it was true that women were gaining sexual freedom and beginning to explore what it meant to be a…show more content…
Until this time, insurance did not cover contraceptives. They had to be paid for out of pocked, which excluded low-income women and families from engaging in the right to have birth control. Two nurses filed charges with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, stating that it was unfair to be expected to pay for the materials themselves. The Supreme Court ruled that the lack of contraceptives on employer’s insurance plans violated Title VII and Pregnancy Discrimination Act and would now have to be included in employees’ insurance. [Netter 2001: 104-106]. The Supreme Court’s decision helped further the equality of women in many ways. Women of all socioeconomic backgrounds could now receive birth control through their employer’s insurance, which helped them focus on their jobs and advance in their careers. Through this provision, many women who could normally not afford to spend extra money on birth control were given the opportunity to have children when they could have the time, money, and energy to support
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