Birth Control and the Sexual Revolution / by kevin murray

The Birth control pill was approved for contraceptive use in 1960.  However, the original intention for the pill given the mores of the day was for it to be prescribed for only married couples or for those couples that were engaged to become married and therefore not to be available for prescription for single college-age women nor for recreational sex.  But over time and through various court cases, the rights of women to control their own bodies superseded the original intent of the pill and consequently the pill availability became widespread.   This widespread availability of the pill was the significant reason for the sexual revolution in our country but with that came some unintended consequences.


For instance, as late as 1968 in America, according to there were less than two abortions per one thousand live births.  By 1971, as reported by, there were137 abortions per one thousand live births in America, with nearly 500,000 abortions in total.  The year 1984 was the peak of the abortion ratio at 364 abortions per one thousand live births, and the total abortions exceeded 1.3 million.  Since that time the trend and the ratio for abortions has been down but the ratio and the amount of abortions in America today are still at levels which simply didn't exist before the advent of the birth control pill and its universal availability to females.


Another consequence of birth control is that the playing of the "blame game" has changed.  Whereas, for instance in the 1950s and the 1960s, a woman who got pregnant and had the intention or little choice but of bringing her baby to term,  she would frequently be able to convince her partner, one way or another, to marry her in a "shotgun wedding" or similar.  Since the dual advent of birth control pills and abortion on demand, shotgun weddings have faded from sight.  The attitude of the man directly involved in a woman's pregnancy has changed from one of possibly "doing the right thing,", to an attitude that it was the woman's responsibility to assure that she wouldn't get pregnant because after all it's her body and she had all the necessary tools to take control of it!


That is why in an age when all sorts of birth control methods are readily available, such as condoms, pills, IUDs, patches, shots, sponges, and the morning-after-pill, abortions and the ratio of abortions to live births in America are still at an incredibly high and elevated numbers.  Additionally, whereas in 1968 approximately 6.2% of children lived in households with a never-married mother, today that percentage has climbed to 45.8%.  The mores and the traditions of the American nuclear family have changed over the past 40-odd years since the coming of age of the birth control pill and the sexual revolution, but not in the way that was intended nor expected.


The intent of the access to birth control pills was so that families could "plan" their pregnancies and to subsequently control the amount of children created in their household.  While that may be true somewhat, for the most part what has happened instead is a wide-open playing field in which anything goes with anyone at anytime in which no party takes full responsibility, but it is the female and her children that mainly suffers the consequences of these choices. 


The birth control pill in conjunction with legal abortion has empowered females to take control of their bodies, but unfortunately, it has also led to a massive increase in recreational sex and a wholesale decrease in our moral values, our family values, and our sensibilities.  The freedom to say yes is also the freedom to say no.