Illinois action blog

Monday, April 26, 2010

Happy 50th Anniversary, The Pill!

THE PILL, a medication invented, ironically, by a conservative Catholic intending to find a cure for infertility (and became the first form of medication prescribed for individuals whom are not sick), is celebrating 50 years of existence! Created during a time of sexual repression, the Pill is credited with providing generations of women with new-found autonomy over their own bodies.

Let us honor, today, the birth control advocates and revolutionaries, including our own Margaret Sanger and Katharine Dexter, without whom we could not celebrate such the anniversary of an oral contraception medication. (Read more about Sanger's contribution to the movement and the evolution of the Pill over the last 50 years in this Time article.)

Unfortunately, today we see the funding and support for family-planning initiatives, comprehensive sexual education, and contraception remain to be attacked on the local, state, and federal levels. Katherine Spillar, the executive editor of Ms. magazine and executive vice president of the Feminist Majority Foundation points out, "We're still fighting those battles in Congress... To think that in 2010, 50 years after the birth control pill, we still have to fight for access and effective family planning — it's painful."

Gloria Steinem, co-founder and editor of Ms. magazine and one of the 20th century's most passionate women's rights activists, is not easily discouraged by attacks on reproductive rights legislation, or by the observation that some women of today's generation seem to take access to birth control for granted. "I don't walk around saying, 'Thank you for the vote'... I might add, as Susan B. Anthony said, 'Our job is not to make young women grateful. It's to make them ungrateful so they keep going. Gratitude never radicalized anybody.'"

Regardless of that notion, PPIA would like to express our appreciation for the unwavering dedication of the many birth control warriors that made this anniversary possible.

Planned Parenthood will continue to fight for equal and affordable access to birth control, in honor of your struggle and courage.

Technorati tags: The Pill, Margaret Sanger, Gloria Steinem

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