Birth Control

Women who wanted birth control to prevent pregnancy faced many problems: The Criminal Code long-held the dissemination, sale, and advertisement of birth control to be illegal.(Sethna, 2). Even when birth control was introduced into Canada in 1961 it required a doctor’s prescription. Birth control and the distribution of information on birth control was fully legalised in 1969, when the first liberalizations of laws restricting reproductive rights had begun. Although birth control was legal it was often stigmatized; it was supposed to be for married couples to space the births of their children, not for single or unmarried women to prevent unplanned pregnancy. The sexual morality of the women was what was focused on more than the need to prevent pregnancy. Even today , 44 years after the legalization of birth control, the sexual morality of women is often judged and the use of birth control although less stigmatised still holds some of the original stigmatization.

The pill was originally tested on “third world” women in the global south. They were not fully informed and suffered many side effects. Even when the pill was changed and introduced into America the pill still had many side effects and women were still not fully informed. Thanks to the fight of feminists and the women’s movement the pill is now safer and women are fully informed about all the effects of the pill.

Here is a video from the American Planned Parenthood that has information on the history of the birth control pill, along with information social effect of the pill (more women going to university…), and the future of their fight:


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