The Director of the Women’s Center at Tech Helen Hunt, and Betty Lopez a recent nurse graduate from Tech offered their professional opinions on the role birth control has had since it was first established in the U.S. in 1916.
October 16, 1916, is a day in the history of the United States that changed lives, specifically for women, in allowing them to intake medicine, or a device to prevent pregnancy. On Friday, October 16, 2020, it was exactly 104 years since the first birth control clinic was established and opened in America. It was first opened in Brooklyn, New York by a nurse named Margaret Sanger who worked among the lower East Side part of New York City.
Hunt mentions what a turning point birth control has had into shaping the society we live in today.
“Birth control makes a huge difference in women’s control over their bodies and their lives. If and when women have children is a crucial component of women’s long-term economic status and their family’s lifetime income . . . The widespread availability of birth control allows women to make these choices about their lives and their family’s futures,” said Hunt.
Tech’s Women’s Center offers a library of books covering a wide range of topics. They host all kinds of social and educational events covering issues facing women and gender minorities today along with historical struggles that mark women’s achievements.
Women and gender studies is also offered at Tech which takes a feminist approach to the study of women and gender. This study focuses on the lives of people who identify as women and study political practices that both reproduce and resist hierarchies of power. It also examines how gender disparities connect with other significant identities such as race, ethnicity, class, age, religion, and body size. Through a student-centered approach, faculty inspires students of all backgrounds to engage with local, national, and international communities in efforts to achieve social justice.
Hunt mentions how easy, affordable and accessible birth control has been beneficial, and a positive change in history.
“Easy, affordable access to reliable birth control gives more people with a uterus this kind of control over their bodies and their futures so that they can make the right choice for themselves. Accessible birth control means that it’s not just urban, wealthy and middle class, . . . but women of all socioeconomic statuses, educational levels, and racial backgrounds. . .,” she said.
Sanger was an American birth control activist, sex educator, writer, and nurse who was one of the main people who contributed to most women’s lives by establishing the first birth control clinic.
Sanger popularized the term “birth control,” opened the first birth control clinic in the United States, and established organizations that evolved into the Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
“Some precautions to take when taking birth control are . . . you need to look at your medical history and consider which methods would be less hazardous to your health. Birth control is mostly used for hormonal balance reductions of some cancerous, and lighter menstrual cycles. . . When choosing a birth control, you will want to consider age, medical history, and cost,” Lopez said when asked what precautions women should have when taking, or under birth control.
“Also think about which one fits your lifestyle. Are you good at keeping a schedule or would it be best to get long-term birth control and not worry about a schedule?,” she added.