Much has been written recently about the introduction of the birth control pill into American society and into the lives of Western women. Did the use of the pill lead to the sexual revolution? Maybe, maybe not.
As New York Times columnist Gail Collins points out, the introduction of oral contraceptives introduced a new era in which women started to get easy access–not just to birth control–but to better information on what works and why. Once women had more control over their fertility, they could decide if and how they would start a family, which made it easier for them to enter the workforce and have more economic choices and control over their lives. … and the rest is history.
The FDA announced its intention to approve the pill on May 9, 1960–50 years ago today.
All these news stories about the pill, and a Smithsonian Institution exhibition–all celebrating the 50th anniversary of the invention of a drug that helped women not to become mothers. Or, least not to become mothers until we were good and ready.
We would be able to enjoy wanted–as opposed to unwanted–pregnancies. We’d be happier in this role of mother, and our children and families would be healthier and happier as a result.
Well, that’s the idea.