The Alternative History of the Pill

In an article at, Bianca Laureano of states why she will not be participating in the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Pill:

“Excuse me if I do not partake in all of the celebration of The 50th Anniversary of The Pill because from my perspective it is still very much a reminder of the exploitation and violation of human rights among Puerto Ricans (and Haitians, and working class women in general) that continues today. Ignoring this reality is easy. Yet, it is a part of my, our history that I can’t simply forget or overlook. If I choose to ignore this history I also choose to ignore the history of activism by members of my community that has helped to create change at an institutional level. Ignoring this reality and history also perpetuates the ideas that historically oppressed communities are not important in the work we do today. . . On anniversaries such as these, I ask that we all take a moment and think about the people who have been directly impacted negatively during trials, especially when historically discussions are not comprehensive and exclude us. Also think about how pharmaceutical companies are still engaging in some questionable actions and continue to purchase land in Puerto Rico, which does bring jobs to the island, yet those jobs are not always permanent.”

Excellent points and a reminder that not all women viewed this technology as “liberating.”  For more on this issue, see the work of Loretta Ross and SisterSong.

The Society for Menstrual Cycle Research has another alternative take on the history of the pill, this one from a white woman who raises significant safety issues.

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