In an article in Time Magazine, The Long, Strange History of Birth Control, written by Megan Gibson, a writing in the New York Review of Books shortly before his death at the age of 91, Carl Djerassi declared that with the invention of the birth control pill, “sex became separated from its reproductive consequences” and “changed the realities of human reproduction.” After creating the key ingredient in the oral contraceptives, Djerassi was named the father of the birth control pill. In Jonathan Eig’s book The Birth of the Pill: How Four Crusaders Reinventd Sex and Launched a Revolution, “For as long as men and women have been making babies, they’ve been trying not to.” Over many millennia women have come up all sorts of concoctions to prevent pregnancy, some safe and others lethal.
Also in Megan Gibson’s article, she stated that in Giacomo Casanova’s memoirs, written in the late 18th century, he takes credit for the invention of a primitive version of the cervical cap by using partly squeezed lemon halves during sex, and in 1844 when American manufacturing engineer Charles Goodyear patented the vulcanization of rubber it led to the mass-production of rubber condoms and cervical caps. Condoms caught on much faster than the cervical caps. All this did not come without backlash. Gibson also wrote that just when the contraceptives were taking off, an American postal inspector named Anthony Comstock began crusading against obscenity. In 1893 The Comstock Act, banned the spread of contraceptive information in the US.
The 20th Century brought activist Margaret Sanger, a nurse who revolutionized reproductive rights in America. Sanger made up the phrase “birth control” in 1914 when she launched a monthly newsletter, The Woman Rebel. The newsletter offered information about birth control. Sanger opened the first family-planning clinic in the US, which was shut down in a week. Five years later she founded the American Birth Control League, which would later become the Planned Parenthood Federation of America. In 1937, Sanger’s fight led to the American Medical Association to officially recognize birth control as part of a doctor’s practice.
By 1965 nearly 6.5 million American women were on “The Pill”, and in the same year the Supreme Court struck down state laws that prohibited married couples from contraception use. Unmarried people had to wait until 1972 when birth control became legal for everyone. Second-wave feminism and the sexual revolution coincided with the use of the Pill. Universally safe and effective birth control is still not a privilege. The Guttmacher Institute report in 2012, stated around 200 million women in developing countries want to use birth control, but do not have access to modern day contraceptives. In my opinion, “The Pill” and other contraceptives should be available worldwide to all females of reproductive age free of charge