On May 9, 1960, the FDA approved the birth control pill. Happy birthday, birth control! 🎂 Here’s a brief history of The Pill and how it came to be.
From 1914 to 1921, Margaret Sanger, amazing pioneer of women’s health, coined the term “birth control,” and opened a women’s health clinic in Brooklyn. Sanger is famously known for starting the American Birth Control League, which is a precursor to Planned Parenthood.
In 1951, Sanger met and teamed up with endocrinologist Gregory Pincus, persuading him to start work on a birth control pill. Just a year later, Pincus tested progesterone in rats, finding the hormone to work adequately at preventing pregnancy. In 1953, activist Katherine McCormack wrote a check for $40,000 for Pincus to continue his research. Drug trials began in 1954–and they worked. 🙌👏😏
In 1956, larger scale studies were conducted in Puerto Rico, where there was a high effectiveness rate despite a large number of side effects. In 1957, the FDA approved the pill but only for serious menstrual disorders, not as contraception.
(An abnormally large amount of women reported serious menstrual disorders that year 🤔🤔🤔)
And then, on May 9th, 1960, the FDA approved the pill for contraceptive use.
After two years of being approved as a contraceptive, 1.2 million women in America were using birth control pills. Five years after approval, 6.5 million women were on the Pill. That’s certainly something worthy of celebration!
Now in 2017, there’s more than just the Pill on the market. Vinas have more choices than ever before; from pills, to patches and injections, to implants and IUDs. Planned Parenthood, which rose out of Sanger’s American Birth Control League, is still providing low-cost, accessible birth control to all those who need it.
Happy birthday, birth control! Here’s to many more years of being awesome! 🎊
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