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NEWS & IDEAS

Birth Control is 100 Years Old: MAKERS Reflect On Its Evolution

Birth Control is 100 Years Old: MAKERS Reflect On Its Evolution

For 100 years of birth control, Planned Parenthood created this timeline of groundbreaking moments, surprising statistics, and the ups and downs of legislation. Check it out, then hear some of our MAKERS' thoughts on reproductive rights below.

Faye Wattleton believes reproductive rights are at the heart of women's liberation. “If we really trusted women, if we really believed that women had the right to that level of power, we wouldn’t fight women’s decisions, because we would assume that the woman knows what’s best for her," she told MAKERS.

Sex therapist Dr. Ruth appreciated the pill's impact on family planning and women's sexual liberation. “When the pill came on the market, it was very important, because it was now women who could decide whether they wanted to be pregnant or not.”

Letty Cottin Pogrebin, co-founder of Ms. Magazine: “What the pill did was simply equalize the playing field. It allowed women to make choices that men have always been able to make. We had, suddenly, the ability to be sexual without paying a price, the price of pregnancy. It freed us up to make decisions—not just sexual decisions, but life decisions—thinking and knowing that we would be free within our own skins. If you don’t have that freedom, you can never be free.”

Feminist activist Loretta Ross says, “Denying a woman the right to control her body is a human rights violation. So let’s move the focus off the fetus and onto the woman, who has the right to bodily integrity.”