The student news site of St. Louis Park High School

Women take control of their bodies

The sexual revolution of the ‘pill’  

In 1960, the sale of birth control pills was illegal in 22 states. Not even half of the country allowed women the right to prevent pregnancy.

Estelle Griswold, a women’s rights activist from New Haven, Connecticut, opened a clinic to start selling birth control for women in 1962. In response, she was arrested. By 1963, only 4 percent of women in the United States were on the pill, according to the Public Broadcasting Station. Griswold tried to advocate for women and give them an opportunity to seek control over their bodies. The fact that in 1963, 96 percent of women were not given the chance to gain control of their natural cycle of reproduction is revolting.

In 1965, however, Congress decided in favor of Griswold and ruled that laws restricting the use of birth control were unconstitutional. The ruling gave married women the right to use the pill as a form of contraception with their husbands. Back in the 1960s, women were almost always under their husband’s wing, meaning they couldn’t always choose what they wanted for themselves. Any decision always had to be in consideration of what their husband thought was best, too.

According to an article from Huffington Post, health insurance for regular contraceptives such as the pill, the patch and implants is still very inconsistent for women in the United States, even though the Affordable Care Act requires no pay for contraceptives. Although there have been many organizations, like Planned Parenthood, advocating for increased access to birth control, access is still a huge issue for women all over the world.

Despite the fact that many people use the pill for medical reasons, there is still a stigma automatically associating it with promiscuous sex. However, even in that case, women have every right to make their own decisions about their sex life without fear of judgment or restrictions regarding access to birth control.

People automatically assume when someone says they’re on the pill, they are sexually active, and that accusation is false. Birth control has many benefits outside of just preventing pregnancy. It regulates the flow of menstruation, clears acne, prevents cramping, can make the flow of menstruation lighter and in some cases, can even lower the risk of some cancers, according to Young Women’s Health.

Societal views on sex, women’s power over their bodies and acceptance for using contraceptives has changed drastically since the 1960s.

The view on the pill is very different in today’s society than it was 60 years ago. I have never been ridiculed for using a form of contraceptive like many women were in the past.

Luckily for me, my community accepts the use of the pill, although I recognize that others are not as fortunate. The issue pertaining to contraceptives is still very prevalent today and the stigma is real. Women should not be judged for having safe sex or taking the pill for other reasons.

No matter where a women comes from, she should have the right to control her own body.

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