Send E-mail
Yahoo Buzz
Interactive Timeline

Revolutionary contraception: How the pill came to be

2002 - 11.6 million American women on pill
1995 - 10.4 million
1982 - 8.4 million
In 1960, the first birth control pill was approved by the Food and Drug Administration. Learn what events lead to its creation and how the pill changed the lives of women in the United States.

Note: Please upgrade your Flash plug-in to view our enhanced content.

SOURCE:, Food and Drug Administration, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and CDC's 2002 National Surveys of Family Growth; CREDIT: Researcher: Madonna Lebling; Reporter: Melissa Bell; Web producer: Delece Smith-Barrow; Graphic: Sisi Wei - The Washington Post, May 11, 2010.
Discussion Policy
Comments that include profanity or personal attacks or other inappropriate comments or material will be removed from the site. Additionally, entries that are unsigned or contain "signatures" by someone other than the actual author will be removed. Finally, we will take steps to block users who violate any of our posting standards, terms of use or privacy policies or any other policies governing this site. Please review the full rules governing commentaries and discussions. You are fully responsible for the content that you post.
Fifty years ago the Food and Drug Administration approved the first birth control pill. An advertisement claimed women would be "freed from their chains at last," but this boastful promise to unfetter women rings hollow to some. A small but vocal chorus of women calls for the medical field's reliance on the pill to be reexamined.

© The Washington Post Company