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We want better reasons for having children than not knowing how to prevent them. Dora Russell, Hypatia, 1925
No woman can call herself free until she can choose consciously whether she will or will not be a mother. Margaret Sanger
Woman must have her freedom, the fundamental freedom of choosing whether or not she will be a mother and how many children she will have. Regardless of what man’s attitude may be, that problem is hers – and before it can be his, it is hers alone. She goes through the vale of death alone, each time a babe is born. As it is the right neither of man nor the state to coerce her into this ordeal, so it is her right to decide whether she will endure it. Margaret Sanger, Woman and the New Race
The way to get people back to the Church is to tell them they’re going to burn in Hell for eternity if they use contraceptives. Spitting Image s1e1, Pope, ITV 1984
The Pope says AIDS may be bad but condoms are worse. What kind of moral teaching is this? And how many people are going to die for such dogma? Christopher Hitchens v Reverend Al Sharpton
Would you care to see my video of the advice given by Cardinal Alfonso Lopezde Trujillo, the Vatican’s president of the Pontifical Council for the Family, carefully warning his audience that all condoms are secretly made with many microscopic holes, through which the AIDS virus can pass? Christopher Hitchens, God is Not Great p45
This Pope ... He [the Pope] spreads the lie that condoms actually increase the incidence of AIDS. Stephen Fry, with Christopher Hitchens v the Catholic Church, debate 2009
Protestant women may take the pill. Roman Catholic women must keep taking the Tablet. Irene Thomas, Guardian 28th December 1990
Birth Control Review. Boardwalk Empire s3e6: Ging Gang Goolie, Mrs Nucky’s leaflets, HBO 2012
The freedom that women were supposed to have found in the Sixties largely boiled down to easy contraception and abortion; things to make life easier for men, in fact. Julie Burchill, Damaged Gods, 1986
Pills and sex can be a lucrative combination. But sometimes drug companies are not the first people to see that. In the UK one third of all women of reproductive age take the contraceptive pill. Worldwide a hundred million rely on it. But it almost never reached the market. In the 1950s research into contraception was illegal in many parts of the world. And where it was legal, pharmaceutical firms feared a moral backlash. Despite this, independent researchers did discover how to synthetically create female hormones ... The result was a social revolution. Horizon: Pill Poppers, BBC 2010
The contraceptive pill is 99% effective to use and when it arrived in Britain in 1961 the impact was revolutionary. Today it’s the most popular contraceptive in Britain. But like all medicines, the pill can cause side effects. Over the decades the pill has consistently been caught up in medical scandals. Horizon: Zoe Williams, The Contraceptive Pill: How Safe Is It? BBC 2018
Over three million people taking the pill in Britain today. ibid.
There are actually two different types of pill: there is the combined pill and the progesterone-only pill … both work by stopping the production of a woman’s natural hormones replacing them with a stream of synthetic ones. ibid.
20% increased risk of breast cancer … ‘It protects you against a number of cancers’ … The increased risk of blood clots … Whilst pregnant the risk of getting a blood clot is actually higher … 52% had negative side effects … ibid.
25%: the pill had negatively affected their mental health … ‘I would say it has affected my sex drive’ … ‘I had a lot of weight gain’ … ibid.
A basic human right, that everyone should have access to contraception. All the evidence is that people take advantage of this once they have the possibility, and they reduce their fertility. If that happens, then amongst other things, the world’s population growth will eventually level out at a lower rather than a higher number. That’s a good thing. Professor Tim Dyson, London School of Economics
Pills and sex can be a lucrative combination. But sometimes drug companies are not the first people to see that. In the UK one third of all women of reproductive age take the contraceptive pill. Worldwide, a hundred million rely on it. But it almost never reached the market. In the 1950s research into contraception was illegal in many parts of the world. And where it was legal, pharmaceutical firms feared a moral backlash. Despite this, independent researchers did discover how to synthetically create female hormones ... The result was a social revolution. Professor Tim Dyson
On the male side however contraception hasn’t changed since rubber condoms and vasectomies were invented in the nineteenth century. Professor Tim Dyson
Contraception: Griswold v Connecticut 381 US 479 (1965). The Sixties: The Times They Are a Changing, 2016
The Pope today reignited the controversy over the Catholic church’s stance on condom use as he made his first trip to Africa.
The pontiff said condoms were not the answer to the continent’s fight against HIV and Aids and could make the problem worse.
Benedict XVI made his comments as he flew to Cameroon for the first leg of a six-day trip that will also see him travelling to Angola.
The timing of his remarks outraged health agencies trying to halt the spread of HIV and Aids in sub-Saharan Africa, where an estimated 22 million people are infected. Guardian online article 17th March 2009 Riazat Butt
The birth control pill – thousands of women were freed from constant childcare and went to work. Melvyn Bragg on Class and Culture II, BBC 2012
Another check which the old idea of conception has led some to recommend with considerable confidence consists in introducing previous to connection a very delicate piece of sponge moistened with water to be immediately afterwards withdrawn by means of a very narrow ribbon attached to it. Dr Charles Knowlton, Fruits of Philosophy: An Essay on the Population Question, published England by Annie Besant c.1877
Annie Besant was the kind of do-gooder clergyman’s wife unthinkable a generation earlier and still unthinkable to the likes of the Queen. Annie Besant had scandalised the country by publishing contraception advice for working people. Such impertinence would not go unpunished however and Annie found herself a victim of a court order. She lost custody of her daughter to her former husband. Simon Schama, A History of Britain: Victoria and Her Sisters, BBC 2000
Casti Connubii 31 December 1930. Vatican’s policy on contraception, abortion & marriage
An impersonal and scientific knowledge of the structure of our bodies is the surest safeguard against prurient curiosity and lascivious gloating. Marie Stopes, Married Love, 1918
It turns out they just didn’t wanna have ginger kids. The Catherine Tate Show, drunken bride
Condoms – they’re useless and they’re ineffective. And they burst. And your stomach just can’t cope with the sudden impact of two kilos of cocaine. Ardal O’Hanlon, on stage
The truth is women use contraception not only as a way to prevent unintended pregnancies, but also to improve their health and the health of their families. Increased access to contraception is directly linked to declines in maternal and infant mortality. Felicity Huffman
My best birth control now is just to leave the lights on. Joan Rivers
Those who in principle oppose birth control are either incapable of arithmetic or else in favour of war, pestilence and famine as permanent features of human life. Bertrand Russell
It is now quite lawful for a Catholic woman to avoid pregnancy by a resort to mathematics, though she is still forbidden to resort to physics and chemistry. H L Mencken, notebooks 1956
In 1960 the Pill went on the market; it revolutionized birth control for women. Andrew Marr’s History of the World VIII: Age of Extremes, BBC 2012
Provided the patient, whether a boy or a girl, is capable of understanding what is proposed, and of expressing his or her own wishes, I see no good reason for holding that he or she lacks the capacity to express them validly and effectively and to authorise the medical man to make the examination or give the treatment he advises. Lord Fraser, Gillick v West Norfolk and Wisbech AHA  AC 112,  3 ALL ER 402