by Stephanie Drahan, Outreach Associate,
National Women's Law Center
Today, as I celebrate and thank my mother for all the wonderful guidance, love and support she has given me over the years, I have yet another reason to be happy and to celebrate; I’m not a mother! This Mother’s Day I can focus my attention on cherishing my mother, and not have to worry about if I’ll soon be joining her ranks.
Why? Because I’m not ready to be a mom and because of the birth control pill, I’m pretty certain I won’t be one anytime soon. Today, in addition to being Mother’s Day, is also the 50th anniversary of the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) approval of the birth control pill. Of course back in 1960, the pill was only approved for use by married women, but because of advocates (like my mother) this decision was challenged, and all women won the right to control their own reproductive decisions throughout their reproductive years.
Here at the National Women’s Law Center (NWLC), we want to celebrate the impact the pill has made in women’s lives, and we’d like you to help us think of 50 ways the birth control pill has revolutionized women’s lives.
When I went on the pill as a teen, I was excited to have less acne and fewer PMS symptoms; now as a woman in my late twenties, I am more aware of the control it has given me over my own body and has permitted me to decide when, and if, I want to parent. For my mom, use of the pill allowed her to enter the work force and gain both economic and employment security before she married my father. Each was a life-changing moment for my mom and me. How has the pill changed your life?
In addition to our compilation of how the pill has revolutionized women’s lives, NWLC staffers will be blogging throughout the month about how access to the pill not only changed their lives, but also how the FDA approval of the pill impacted the variety of issue areas on which NWLC focuses.
So this Mother’s Day, as I’m thankful I’m not yet a mother, I have a toast for mine: here’s to you Mom, thanks for showing me that women can do anything, be anything and have the right to control their own bodies. Someday, when the time is right, I hope to have a daughter with whom I can share these same ideals and principles.