Birth Control: Background and History

Family planning includes the decisions that men and women make about their reproductive lives including whether or not they want to have children and if they want to, then when and how. It deals with deciding whether or not to engage in consensual sexual activity that can result in pregnancy, the use of contraceptive and termination of pregnancy. Religious and moral beliefs often influence a person’s decision on such topics. This is also the main reason why the issue of contraception is highly controversial.

In 1800 the average white woman in the United States had 7 children in her lifetime. By the year 1900, this number reduced to 3 and 1/2. This was mainly due to the easy availability of scientific information about reproduction and contraception. In the early 1800 early abortions were legal but the use of contraceptives was low due to the social beliefs that talking about birth control is obscene and abortion is unsafe.

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