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The Pill's Impact, Past and Present

A birth control pill container designed to look like a makeup compact. (AP)

Fifty years ago next month, the F.D.A. signed off on the birth control pill.

One tiny pill, every day — and thousands of years of awkward human grappling with the chance of pregnancy were essentially history.

Within minutes, it seemed, it was called simply “The Pill.”  It was that big.

It drew a new freedom around sex. And it helped give women a new freedom to step out into the world, especially the working world.

Many loved those new freedoms. Some didn’t. But the impact of the pill keeps unfolding.

This Hour, On Point:  Sex, society, and fifty years of the pill.

Guests:

Nancy Gibbs, executive editor of Time magazine. Her new article is “The Pill at 50: Sex, Freedom and Paradox.”

Elisa Ross, obstetrician, gynecologist and staff physician in the Women’s Health Institute of the Cleveland Clinic. She has advised women on family planning and the use of contraceptives for more than 20 years.

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