Essay on A Historical Context Of The Pill
The arrival of the pill in the spring of 1960 heralded a new era in the long history of birth control, and it signalled an important, modern step towards bodily autonomy for women. For the first time there existed a method of contraception that separated birth control from the act of sexual intercourse, while having a nearly one hundred per cent success rate. When the pill hit the market, at the peak of the baby boom, it was overwhelming mothers who rushed to get it. While some commentators feared that the pill would wreak havoc on morals and sexual behaviour (some even going as far to say that it would lead to adultery), others claimed that it would cure the social, sexual and political ills of the day. It was (bearing in mind the military metaphors that permeated the Cold War) the ‘magic bullet’ that would avert the explosion of the ‘population bomb’. By reducing the population, the pill would alleviate the conditions of poverty that led so many to embrace communism. It would also bolster the nuclear family with the promise of marital bliss, and in doing so, it would foster happy families - the key to social order. As one euphoric husband gushed, ‘With my wife on the pill, any moment is the right moment for love!’
2. What does the document say?
However, as this 1966 article in the U.S News and World Report demonstrates, ‘less enthusiastic Americans felt that the pill was making moral choices more difficult, and that the…