The birth of pregnancy preventers.

By Amanda Cornett

Birth control pills.

Invented in 1957 by Margeret Sanger and Katherine McCormick.

What factors in american society led to the creation of this invention?

After noticing many self-induced abortions and far too many pregnancies, Sanger decided to start a monthly newsletter, The Woman Rebel, informing women all around about "The Prevention of Contraception" and if avoiding it leads to injuries. Sanger's actions were influenced by her mother who obtained 18 pregnancies in only 22 years, and died at 50 due to tuberculosis and cervical cancer. In 1916, Margaret opened the first birth control clinic in the US. She believed, in order for women to lead healthier lives, they needed to be able to control when they had children. At the same time, she wanted to stray away from back-alley abortions, which where illegal at the time, and very dangerous.

How did this invention change American society?

  1. It changes women's earning abilities; women who give birth after age 26 are more financially stable when they're in their 50's then those who decide to child-bear earlier. Women who put their education and career(s) first are more likely able to support a child than one who decided to have one - or many - before.
  2. It lowered the possibility of unplanned pregnancies and abortions; when used properly, the pill's effectiveness percentage is at about 99 percent, which is a far better rate than older barrier methods like condoms, spermicides, and diaphragms, which are usually about 90 to 95 percent efficient when used with every sexual encounter, which may account for a lower rate of unplanned pregnancies and abortions.
  3. Since then, many versions of birth control, other than pills, have been created. From shots (such as Depo-Provera), to the skin patch or Nuvaring.

Why do you feel this invention was a turning point in American life?

Without birth control, pregnancy rates would continue to escalate, along with abortion rates. Young mothers would have no job and no education so they wouldn't be able to support their kid(s). Financial aid drops and mothers are left to raise their kid(s) without help. It also helped with unplanned pregnancies because the chance of having children while on the pill is low. It is so much more effective than just condoms, diaphragms, etc.