16 May 2010


A bit of a mixture in that in this week's Inspirational Women Wednesday* (on a Sunday) I take a look not only at the drug which was to revolutionise women's lives but also at one women, Margaret Sanger, who led a campaign to desensitise the general public on the matter of sex, and another woman, Raquel Welch, who, it turns out, has a slightly different view.

Fifty years ago this month The Federal Drugs Agency (FDA) approved the use of the birth control pill - the first product to be approved that "was not designed to treat an illness but rather to modify a normal process" - Read more by clicking HERE.

Cited as one of the most important medical breakthroughs of the 20th century, 'the pill' was to have a major impact on the lives of millions of women, their marriage and family life.


Margaret Sanger led the campaign in the US that would gradually -- over decades -- desensitise the general public on matters of sex. A brilliant and remarkably tenacious woman, she wrote pamphlets, published newspapers and books, smuggled birth control devices, founded birth control clinics and got arrested -- all to raise the issue of birth control from the perspective of women’s rights, at the same time publicly downplaying her own anarchist and eugenicist leanings She succeeded in her efforts, and she and her friends were pleasantly surprised when after the pill’s release in 1960, popular opposition to birth control rapidly diminished - Read more by clicking HERE.

I wonder then what Margaret would have made of actress, RAQUEL WELSH**, blaming the pill for the decline of marriage, by saying:

The widespread use of oral contraceptives had led to a breakdown in sexual morality and added to the growth of promiscuity among young people.

The situation had become so serious that "these days nobody seems able to keep it in their pants or honour a commitment"(And) Whilst it carried some benefits, the enduring legacy of The Pill was social anarchy - Simon Caldwell reporting in The Daily Telegraph (Click HERE for the full article.)

* Inspirational Woman Wednesday is hosted by Aine over at THE EVOLVING SPIRIT.

** Not usually one to sit in judgement but under the circumstances I think it's fair to comment that all this sounds a little ironic coming from a woman, who in the 1970's was voted as 'the most desirable female' by Playboy (a well known 'men's magazine') readers and has three failed marriages behind her.

*** Read what other bloggers have to say on the matter by clicking HERE to visit Mad Priest's Of Course, I Could Be Wrong.


Kissed by an Angel said...

I'm guessing the pill hasn't helped at all!! But judging by the number of my contempories who were already pregnant when they married: I'd say it was just a decline in moral standards. Which has been getting worse over the years due to lack of good parenting!! Maybe I'm old fashioned but that is how I see it!!

....Petty Witter said...

An interesting observtion Angel though I'm sure you'll agree that it isn't as simple as that.

Oddyoddyo13 said...

I think women have the right on whether or not they should have children-its their body, their choice. I can see the other side of the matter though.

TirzahLaughs said...

The pill gives you choices. What you do with those choices is your business. However I find that most people have no love for themselves or respect for themselves any longer.

To have sex outside marriage is fine. But to have sex with people you don't even know or even like? Blah, that's just self destruction.

The goal of all sexual relationships is not marriage but to share your body with someone whom you don't even know or respect is a form self-destruction. Never ever have sex with someone you don't like or respect on a fundamental level. Because it means you have no care for yourself to do otherwise.

But none of that is the fault of the pill.

The pill kept women from being trapped by their bodies.

What they do with that freedom is their responsibility.

KLZ said...

Yeah, I think that's kind of a ridiculous statement. Pre-marital sex doesn't break up marriages because it's PRE-marital. And adultery is a moral issue not a birth control issue.

Kelly said...

Yep, there sure has been a lot of press about this anniversary recently!

Sheila (Bookjourney) said...

You come up witht he most interesting topics! Love it! :D

chitra said...

taking these pills for a prolonged period also affects one's health.I know a person who has developed problem because of the misuse of this pill.

Anonymous said...

I don't think Raquel is right. As the Talking Heads sang: same as it ever was. Being imprisoned in unhappy situations might protect marriage, but it doesn't protect people.

But childbearing is great strain on the female body. Not to mention the years upon years of life-changing childrearing. Seems to me that birth control is more about female freedom than anything else. It's not perfect, but childbearing becomes a choice rather than a result.

Heather said...

I have to agree that the pill is about choice. You can chose whether to use it or not and for what ever reasons and it's no one else's business, particular that of men. It's not for them to decide on women's reproductive health issues. This is a hotbed here in Canada now. Our far too conservative federal government is trying to move back to the repressive 50's and opt out of funding abortions for women in needy countries. Many non-Conservatives feel that what they really want to do is outlaw safe,funded abortions within our own country. I say it all comes back to a woman's choice.

ok, off my soap box.