Where technology brought us 

DeGreve Oil Change
3900 N Pine
Davenport, IA

DeGreve Oil change
2125 53 St
Moline, IL 61265

DeGreve Oil Change
1618 38 St
Rock Island, IL 61201

DeGreve Oil change
3560 N Brady St
Davenport, IA

1305 5 Ave
Moline, IL 61265

Pratt's Antiques
125 E Main St
Aledo, IL 61231

Main St Antiques
114 E Main St
Aledo, IL 61231

Conner Co
PO Box 888
East Moline, IL 61244

Kimball Cleaners
308 SW 5th Ave
Aledo, IL 61231

Williams Studio
New Windsor, IL 61465

Andalusia, IL 61232

Hideaway Plastics
1801 17 St
PO Box 379
Viola, IL 61486

Deer & Co Credit Union
3950 38 Ave
Moline, IL 61265

Conception of the pill gave birth to new lifestyle

By Marcy Norton, Dispatch/Argus Staff writer

Chuck Thomas / staff
A variety of birth control pills are available on the market for women. Here an assortment is shown at the Rock Island County Health Department.

The birth control pill has been one of the most socially controversial medical breakthroughs of the century.

Country artist Lorretta Lynne's song about it was banned from many radio stations and decried on pulpits around the nation. The pill was blamed for promiscuity, for the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, accused of being everything from a carcinogen to a cause of sterility.

There has probably been more research done on the birth control pill than any other form of medication, said women's health nurse practioner Barbara Woods.

Women recently questioned at the Rock Island County health department's women's care clinic reacted differently to questions about how birth control pills changed their lives.

Women younger than 30 or 40 didn't think of ``the pill'' as anything special. ``It's just birth control,'' they told Ms. Woods.

However, women around the age of 60 looked at the technology as a breakthrough.

``It was almost revolutionary because it just suddenly meant you had control of your fertility and that meant a great deal,'' Ms. Woods said. Sexually active women didn't have to worry about getting pregnant and those who wanted families could space thier children -- a concept that until the pill's `conception' in the 1960s was socially only whispered about.

The ability to plan pregnancies has changed the landscape of the American social system by freeing women to pursue careers, and therefore improving their social standing and impact on life outside the family.

The problem with the birth control methods available before the pill was that they depended on the cooperation of both people -- such as the condom. The birth control pill allowed women to make reproductive decisions on their own.

The main problem with the pill, Ms. Woods said, is getting women to use it correctly and consistently. Without that, it is not effective and tends to fail.

The combination of the birth control pill, the women's movement in the '60s and what some people would call the sexual revolution were very much tied up with each other, Ms. Woods said. ``One didn't cause the other but they're all certainly very related. In that way is was very revolutionary.''

Since it went mainstream, uses of the birth control pill have multiplied. Doctors prescribe them to treat conditions ranging from acne to ovarian disorders in women of all ages, up to menopause. It reduces the need for surgeries such as tubal ligation and in some cases, hysterectomy.

``It's almost considered to be a health-maintenance medication as well as a birth control pill,'' Ms. Woods said.

Copyright 1999, Moline Dispatch Publishing Co.