If, 100 years ago, you told a woman that one day women would be able simply to swallow a tiny pill to avoid getting pregnant, she wouldn't have believed you. In 1909, condoms had already been in existence for hundreds of years, but depending on where you lived, they weren't always legal. Even if they were legal, they might not be culturally acceptable, affordable or reliable. Other than avoiding sex completely, the only other option a woman had might be the use of herbs or other folk methods. And those weren't always reliable, either.
被称为"The pill "的口服避孕药是现代化学的一个奇迹，在美国口服避孕药是最普遍的一种避孕方式。据报道，在2002年超过1100万女性在使用口服避孕药[源自CDC]。如今，不仅法律允许使用口服避孕药，文化传统上也逐渐接受了这种方式，另外它没有以前那么贵，并且还能非常有效的避孕，不过所有这些都来之不易。1961年，口服避孕药首次被美国食品药物局认可为避孕药剂，不过直到联邦最高法院1965年出台了一项裁定之前，只有部分州的已婚妇女才能购买到口服避孕药。但此后有些地区的未婚女性依然无法通过合法途径获得口服避孕药，直到1972年联邦最高法院出台了另一项规定才得以改变。
The oral contraceptive pill, known simply as "the pill," is a marvel of modern chemistry. It's the most popular form of birth control in the United States. More than 11 million women reported using it in 2002 [source: CDC]. Today, it's legal, culturally acceptable, affordable and reliable. But it didn't come by all of those attributes so easily. The pill was first approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as a contraceptive in 1961, but until a 1965 Supreme Court ruling, only married woman in some states could obtain it. Until another Supreme Court ruling in 1972, unmarried women in some states still couldn't legally get it.
The pill is pretty straightforward on the surface. A woman takes one pill at the same time each day for 21 days. Then she either takes an inert pill (a placebo meant to keep her in the routine of taking a pill each day) or takes nothing for seven days while she has her period. Because the hormones in the pill keep her from ovulating, she shouldn't get pregnant.
The truth is, though, that some women who are on the pill do become pregnant. Some women experience side effects so unpleasant that they have to switch between different types of the pill or stop taking it altogether. And although it has been legal and available to all women since 1972, they might still have trouble obtaining it. Despite its popularity, the pill hasn't been without controversy throughout its history.
2010-07-07 22:43 编辑：kuaileyingyu