The first UK birth control clinic was opened in 1921. By 1930, there were five birth control societies in the UK who advocated “children by choice, not chance” and by 1939 there were 65 family planning organisations nationwide.
Hormonal contraceptive pills were first prescribed in America in 1956, but only to those with ‘menstrual disorders’ (i.e. irregular periods).
The first contraceptive pill was licensed in the UK in 1961 but was reserved for married women. A proposal to extend it to unmarried women was rejected in 1965, and not approved until a decade later in 1974.
Maggie Andrews, Professor of Cultural History at the University of Worcester and co-author of The History of Women in 100 objects, says: “For many women, married or single, the pill reduced the association between sex and anxiety about pregnancy.”
And it only took a few thousand years and many weasel testicles! Woohoo!