Happy 50th to the Pill!

Most Americans think it's a good thing.

Happy 50th to the Pill!

Most Americans think it’s a good thing.

-Jane Farrell

The Pill

Although the abortion debate rages on, a healthy majority Americans can agree about one issue related to reproduction: the birth-control pill has been good for us as a society. In fact, according to a Harris Poll survey, 86 percent of Americans think so.

Both men and women agreed on its positive effect. Just 5 percent of respondents thought the Pill had been “very bad” for society.

The Pill (we never needed to call it anything else) was introduced in 1960, giving a measure of independence to women who could, because of it, decide when and if to have children. As a result, women could work outside the home longer, or go to medical or law school while postponing pregnancy.

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It’s been singled out by feminist historians as perhaps the most influential factor in changing women’s lives in a major way. Not that unrestricted freedom came immediately: In the early days of the Pill, women often had to talk their doctors into giving them a prescription by saying they were engaged.

At the same time, though, respondents to the Harris Poll said they were concerned about unplanned pregnancies in general and attributed the phenomenon to a decline in moral standards (54 percent) and a lack of overall education (51 percent). (Village Voice)

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