The Birth Control Pill Essay, Research Paper
The Birth Control Pill:
The Pill with Many Issues
Generations of women have lived with the task of controlling the childbearing process. In 1960, the Food and Drug Administration approved the birth control pill. The approval of the pill was a great event for women. The birth control pill not only prevents pregnancy, it also treats several feminine disorders. Before the birth control pill, many women turned to illegal or self-performed abortion. In 1973 abortion was made legal by the case of Roe Vs. Wade. These events have become a great privilege for women, but neither prevents A.I.D.S. or other diseases.
In 1916, the birth control movement was established by a public health nurse name Margaret Sanger. Sanger opened up the first birth control clinic in New York. This clinic informed women about deciding to become mothers and when. It also provided education to women about existing birth control methods. The idea of a woman?s right to control her own body and her own sexuality, gave a new outlook to family planning. Sanger recorded in her autobiography:
?Every day the little waiting room was crowded. Women came from
the far end of Long Island (the press having the spread the word),
from Connecticut, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New Jersey.
They came to learn the ?secret? which they thought was possessed
by the rich and denied to the poor.? (Asbell 44)
According to Bernard Asbell, the state of New York charged Sanger with illegal distribution of contraceptive information and forced Sanger to close the clinic (45).
In 1951, Sanger and Katharine McCormick, an heir to the International Harvester fortune, wanted a simple and a more efficient form of a contraceptive. Sanger went to Gregory Pincus, a researcher at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology, with their idea. Pincus had been receiving funds from the Planned Parenthood Federation to study mammalian egg, but it was not enough to develop a hormonal contraceptive (Asbell 59). It was an $180,000 contribution from McCormick that funded adequate research development for a hormonal contraceptive.
By 1955, Pincus, a Harvard gynecologist named John Rock, and graduate student Min Chueh Chang had found a way to keep a woman from conceiving. The team of three came up with a progestogen pill that would keep a woman from ovulating; therefore she could not get pregnant. This pill was called the birth control pill and was approved by the Food and Drug administration in 1960. S. Snider reports that the birth control pill ?was a major medical achievement that rewrote the future of women and family life. For the first time in history, it became possible for a woman to safely and effectively control childbearing by taking a pill (4).
Although the pill was a wonderful success, it wasn?t long before health officials raised concerns about serious side affects. Fears of blood clots, heart attack, and stroke, caused exhaustive research on oral contraceptives in the 60?s and 70?s. The health risks are not as large due to the low-dose birth control pills on the market today (Snider 5).
The birth control pill does not only prevent pregnancies, but it also helps control some diseases and other medical problems. Many women that have an irregular menstrual cycle take the pill to keep their cycle normal. The pill has also proven to help women who have endometriosis.
In 1973, the Supreme Court ruled case of Roe vs. Wade to legalized abortion. Since there has been health scares about the pill abortion has seem to become the other alternative to contraception. Some teenagers and women abuse abortion as a form of birth control. Many women have used abortions as a drastic form of contraception, due to carelessness or ignorance of better methods.
In 1981, the virus acquired immune deficiency syndrome, better known as A.I.D.S. was identified. This virus weakens and breaks down the body?s immune system making it almost impossible to fight off other viruses, infections and diseases. A.I.D.S. usually is caught by unprotected sex or drug use. The birth control pill will prevent a woman from conceiving; however the pill will not protect a woman from the A.I.D.S. virus. According to Jean Lawrence of the U.S. Center for Disease control and Prevention:
?Women whose partners use condoms to prevent A.I.D.S. and
other sexually transmitted diseases should not stop taking birth
control pills to prevent pregnancy. This is important because in the
past we have found that women who use hormonal contraceptives
are not as likely to use condoms for A.I.D.S. and other sexually
transmitted disease prevention.?(Cooper 1)
The birth control pill has got to be the single most important invention of the 20th century. Abortion and A.I.D.S. all began with the advert of the oral contraceptive. The birth control pill has help keep the world wide population under control.