Contraception: Preventing Pregnancy

1087 Words5 Pages
Prior to 1914, the only way American women could legally prevent unwanted pregnancy was by using homemade methods and rumored successful products such as diaphragms, cervical caps, douching syringes, and sponges. Many times these products did not work and were harmful because they were never accurately or legally tested. Despite this, little medical advances were made for women’s contraception, which is preventing pregnancy. Many believe that actual contraceptive advances came to light when the issue became nationalized as World War I soldiers returned from war with venereal diseases, driving the public to change their view on contraception. Despite this perception, contraception was discussed, but not developed. The United States refusal to responsibly support the development and distribution of women’s contraception violated the rights of women and prohibited the growth of their civil rights. This prohibition inhibited the rights of women to join the workforce and negatively impacted women’s health care for decades.
Before effective birth control was invented, women used homemade methods and products such as diaphragms and cervical caps, which were still illegal because the Church believed that any form of contraception is a sin, to prevent themselves from becoming pregnant. The majority of the time many of these methods failed since they had never been accurately or reliably tested. Most women were unable to find jobs of equal pay with their counterpart until the 1970s. Only 21.5 % of the female population aged 16 and over were in the labor force in 1910. If women in the 1910s became pregnant, their chances of landing a job became even slimmer. Single mothers would not be able to care for their child because they would not h...

... middle of paper ...

...was really like to buy, produce, and use contraceptives during a century of profound social and technological change.
U.S. equal employment opportunity commission, . 21 Nov 2013. . This website provided me with the Pregnancy Discrimination Act.
Whitley, Peggy. “1910-1919.” American Cultural History. Lone Star College-Kingwood
Library, 1999. Web. 7 Feb. 2011. This website helped me find out the life expectancy of women in 1910 and 1970s.
“Women in the Labor Force | Infoplease.com.” Infoplease.© 2000–2013 Pearson Education, publishing as Infoplease.
27 Nov. 2013 . This website told me the number of employed women in the United States labor force from 1900 to the present, according to year, percent of females over 16 years old, and percent of labor force over 16 years old.

More about Contraception: Preventing Pregnancy

Open Document