From an historical and social perspective, discuss available methods of voluntary contraception throughout U.S. history

From an historical and social perspective, discuss available methods of voluntary contraception throughout U.S. history

From an historical and social perspective, discuss available methods of voluntary contraception throughout U.S. history 150 150 Peter

Discussion 2 400 words

From an historical and social perspective, discuss available methods of voluntary contraception throughout U.S. history and key legislation related to contraceptive use, including laws like the Comstock Laws that ended in 1938. Aside from direct legislation, why did birth control not immediately take off?

Reply 1 Nicole 60 word

Artifacts dating back to ancient times have shown that contraceptives have been used for thousands and thousands of years although not all methods were effective. Some even caused infertility and death. In early years like 200s, a Greece gynecologist told women to hold their breath while having sex and sneeze afterwards to prevent pregnancy. Egyptians would mix honey, sodium bicarbonate, and crocodile dung into a paste to use after intercourse. Other methods like that in China caused more danger than preventing pregnancy. People would drink cocktails of lead and mercury which generally ended with sterility, brain damage, and even death. Early cave drawings in France are said to show an early version of the condom. During Cassanova’s time period, cervical caps were used which were often just slices of lemon. In the mid 1800s, condoms were able to be mass produced for the first time on record (Cobblestone, 2019). In the 1900s, other methods of birth control came about such as the oral contraceptive. During this time, laws made it illegal to discuss birth control let alone mail or hand it out to women. Anti obscenity laws much like the Comstock Law, prevented women from being educated on preventing pregnancies as well as obtaining the contraceptives (Cobblestone, 2009). One of the most noted laws preventing education and giving of birth control was the Comstock Laws which finally ended in 1938. Anthony Comstock was a Congregationlist that lobbied for stricter obscenity laws and became a United States Postal Service special agent to be able to police the mail thinking he could save American’s virtue. These laws did not define obscenity which allowed Comstock to interpret the law as he saw fit. The Comstock Laws banned things like contraception from being mailed (Rubenstein, 2022). This caused women who wanted to avoid a pregnancy to try household cleaners such as lysol and Coca Cola which were believed and marketed to kill sperm. Margaret Sanger was the first to open a birth control clinic despite it being an illegal practice. Her clinic was advertised thru flyers placed under doors and shoved in mailboxes. At Sanger’s clinic, women were educated on contraception, told that abortion was wrong as it was killing a life, and given birth control. The clinic was open 10 days before being shut down by police and Sanger placed in a penitentiary. After her release, a wealthy donor contributed money for Sanger to open a small office which is where she secretly gave out information and birth control to those who seemed it (Cobblestone, 2009). In 1960, the FDA finally approved an oral contraceptive thank in large part to Sanger’s battle over the years. Following this FDA approval, many other methods became available to American women including the IUD. Despite the major changes in contraceptive use and education in the United States, many developing countries are still struggling with lack of access for women (TIME, 2015).

Reply 2 Destiny 60 words

(Crooks, 2021) Contraceptive methods, techniques to prevent birth pregnancy, have been around for centuries. Egyptian women in ancient centuries would use dried crocodile dung and place it next to their cervix. In Greece eating parts of a mule were recommended and in Europe vaginal sponges soaked in solutions were used as contraceptives. In U.S. history methods available for contraceptives and laws concerning their use were restricted. Anthony Comstock in the 1870s succeeded in enacting laws that prohibited the dissemination of birth control information for this information was obscene, these laws also known as Comstock laws. During this time the only form of birth control was abstinence. Margaret Sanger promoted changes in birth control availability in the United States. In 1915 she opened an illegal clinic where women could use diaphragms shipped from Europe. She published many articles in regards to birth control and did research on birth control hormones. In the 1960s the first birth control pills came to the United States market. In 1965 the Griswold v. Connecticut, could prohibit the use of birth control by married couples. The court overruled the right to privacy in married couples. Laws later allowed young single individuals to gain more access to contraceptives.  As times have changed contraceptives are now available for many and without parental consent. 

(Crooks, 2021) Sex and Politics played a hand and hand role for many centuries, also known as, the power of pro-life anti-contraception politics, making it different for contraceptives to take off. Catholics make a major impact on healthcare systems in the United States. The Vatican prohibits sterilization and catholic sponsors more healthcare institutions. As generations continue we see a rise in contraceptive use in many religious individuals. Although many U.S. citizens favor contraceptives, many religious oppose. Anti-contraceptive religious groups see contraceptives as abortion or gateway to abortion. As attempt to end legal abortion groups, attempts to establish “personhood” in several states constitution. These amendments define a person as every embryo from the moment of fertilization. Thus making every form of contraceptives illegal.