MIC’D UP: EUGENICS AND THE PILL – They’re more closely related than you think

MIC’D UP: EUGENICS AND THE PILL – They’re more closely related than you think

Mic’d Up—Eugenics and the Pill

by Peter O’Dwyer  •  ChurchMilitant.com  •  March 9, 2016

They’re more closely related than you think

The birth control pill has been the Holy Grail for the contraceptive moment from the very beginning. Reliable, cheap and convenient, it has made the divorce between reproduction and sex into a concrete reality. This is the reason that its bad side effects have been played down so aggressively.

The pill is considered so important it is on the list of the World Health Organization’s most essential medicines. More than any other single factor, it was the Pill that ushered in the Sexual Revolution.

From the beginning, the Pill was a tool of the eugenics movement. Research on the Pill started when Margaret Sanger of Planned Parenthood fame gave a grant to Dr. Gregory Pincus. The grant was small, but it was enough to prove that hormonal birth control was a viable concept. Later, a wealthy socialite and old friend of Margaret Sanger, Katharine Dexter McCormick, was introduced to Pincus, and she arranged for almost $25 million in today’s money to be poured into research for a hormonal contraceptive.

For the Pill’s potential to become fully actualized, it needed to be side-effect free, and during the 1950s it is suspected that several women during clinical trials in Puerto Rico died toward this end. Others suffered from terrible side effects. To this day, the clinical trials in Puerto Rico are considered deeply controversial.

The Pill was approved by the FDA in 1960, just in time to help kick off the Sexual Revolution. One of the major players in getting the Pill into the mainstream was a scientist on the birth control team. His name was Dr. John Rock, who was a Roman Catholic. He went as far as to petition the Vatican and to publish a book on how Catholics should accept birth control, but was thwarted by Bd. Pope Paul VI’s “Humanae Vitae.”

For more on the history of the Pill, watch “Mic’d Up—The Pill Kills.”

Peter O’Dwyer is a staff writer and associate producer for ChurchMilitant.com

Read the source & comments: http://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/micd-up-eugenics-and-the-pill

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