Sunday, May 9, 2010

The Pill

CNN is doing a special on the 50th anniversary of the the pill. They have quotes from thirteen women, and one man. I will group them according to the tone of their response.

  1. Solidly Against - two of the women: Notare, a Catholic; and Matalin, a Republican strategist. Matalin, I think, captures a lot of the anti-sentiment: "And how did they manifest their superiority? Their freedom? Thanks to The Pill, by casual, drive-by sex."

  2. Mixed reaction - only two (I was somewhat surprised): Welch, and Walker. Welch is grasping at the problem, although she cannot truly identify it: "I'm ashamed to admit that I myself have been married four times, and yet I still feel that marriage is the cornerstone of civilization, an essential institution that stabilizes society, provides a sanctuary for children. Strong family-orientated communities save us from anarchy."

  3. Solidly for - the other ten.
Among the ten, it is interesting how much of the focus is on jobs (or "careers"). The key words are all about "control", "freedom", and "planning" (or the converse, "derail"). Sometimes "equality".

The man selected for comment was Hugh Hefner. A choice quote: "I always felt, quite frankly, that the notion that sex was just for procreation was just wrong."

Medically, there are two effects of the pill: to prevent ovulation, and to prevent implantation.

There is nothing wrong with preventing ovulation (although one may question if the cost of side effects of the pill are worth this effect).

The problem is that preventing implantation kills the embryo in cases where ovulation still occurs. I have not seen any numbers on how often this occurs. The medical community is mostly concerned with preventing pregnancy, and the pill is very effective at that.

No comments: