Birth Control Choices

Do American women need better birth control products?


In the fourth decade of the sexual revolution spawned by “the Pill,” women consumers and the medical community remain sharply divided over old and new birth control products. Some scientists had hoped by now to be offering more modern methods. But scientific, financial and political hurdles have kept those visions in the distance. Family planning organizations and contraceptive researchers continue to complain about the threat of lawsuits, cumbersome regulatory procedures and limited funding. Even when new contraceptives emerge from the laboratory, they often have serious drawbacks, consumer activists say. They blame researchers for paying too much attention to hormone-influencing products like the Pill. And they charge that safer products that would also protect against AIDS have been neglected.

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