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Birth Control Is Not a Women's Issue: It's a Human Right

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jaunte3/08/2012 6:19:00 pm PST

When Women Used Lysol as Birth Control

The current attack on access to birth control had us thinking back to the first half of the 20th century, when contraceptive methods taken for granted today, like condoms and diaphragms, were expensive, hard to find, and often required a potentially humiliating exam by a disapproving doctor.

Of course, women who couldn’t afford or gain access to medically administered birth control had to come up with their own strategies for staying baby free. Douching was cheap, accessible, and widely advertised as a feminine hygiene product; however, as Andrea Tone writes in the book Devices and Desires: A History of Contraceptives in America, it was also the most common form of birth control from 1940 until 1960—when the oral contraceptive pill arrived on the market.