Fifty Years of the Pill: “Unplanned” Outcomes

by Ryan on May 11, 2010

in Bioethics,Culture,Health Care,Media Bias,Nature,Politics,Right to Life,science

Fifty years after the FDA approved use of the birth control pill a funny thing happened:  suddenly science has 50 years of data to look through, cutting through the old propaganda.

Today I found a really interesting article by Daniel J. Flynn at The American Spectator which puts some counter-intuitive arguments under the statistical light of Pew Research.  The gist of the article is that while the pill was supposed to eliminate the need for abortions, divorce and illegitimacy, it has done none of these.  While the pill does have some obvious benefit, some statistics are very surprising:  around 1960 only 5% of birth occurred to single moms, as opposed to 41% of births today;  fifty-one percent of women today say that their latest pregnancy was unplanned;  and 54% of women who’ve had abortions used either the pill or condoms during the month they got pregnant.

Wasn’t the pill supposed to change all that by giving women reproductive freedom to have and raise their children under ideal conditions?  Flynn suggests that while the old propaganda pushed ideals, humans are imperfect, so the realities have been different — more illegitimacy, more STDs, high amounts of unplanned pregnancies, etc.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Nurse Duncan May 15, 2010 at 3:54 pm

The pill has been a double-edged sword so to speak. Not only is it the single most contributing factor to women’s freedom to pursue the higher echelons of administrations in any career of their choice, but also the greatest false sense of security in terms of reproduction as evidenced by the original source’s statistics. I believe when any person obtains a new freedom or privilage at any age of development, regardless of gender, there will be unintended consequences or bad choices. For example, teenages get into more car accidents because of their inexperience. Obviously, a car accident versus the changing of an entire family structure are different but the process of dealing with the new responsibilities is similar. Only through experience, sound judgment, having debates, and wisdom from the previous generations will reproductive issues be more clear.

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