What is the Pill?
CBC Oct. 11, 1964
"'The Pill' is a miraculous tablet that contains as little as one thirty-thousandth of an ounce of chemical. It costs 11 ¢ to manufacture; a month's supply now sells for $2.00 retail. It is little more trouble to take on schedule than a daily vitamin. Yet in a mere six years it has changed and liberated sex and family life of a large and still growing segment of the U.S. population..."The pill,"...may well have as great an impact on the health of billions of people yet unborn as did the work of Pasteur in revealing the mechanism of infections, or of Lister in preventing them. For if the pill can defuse the population explosion, it will go toward eliminating hunger, want and ignorance."
- Time, 1967
As the first effective contraceptive device, the birth control pill challenged traditional roles the 1950s society prescribed to women. Despite criticism as a license for "sexual anarchy" and potential health consequences, the Pill propelled the rise of a second wave feminism for women's liberation and a shift in moral standards.
Everyone is familiar with the birth control pill but few are aware of its impacts beside contraception. The Pill, the first oral contraceptive, gave women full control over their bodies, empower them economically and socially to achieve full gender equality. Although its consequences were condemned by Catholic Popes and health safety advocates, the impact of the Pill on America was revolutionary at the least. The innovation opened new venues for right-to-choice debates, such as abortion, into the 21st century.
"In its effects I believe that the pill ranks in importance with the discovery of fire"
--Ashley Montagu, philosopher
The Pill: Birth of a New Woman
Lukun Zhang | Senior Division | Website