Historical story

The pill

A family with ten children. It is hard to imagine now, but this was common until the 1960s. When the pill came on the market, the "curse of fertility" was over. The population grew much less rapidly.

The contraceptive pill, an American invention, conquered the Netherlands from 1962. In 1977, more than a million Dutch women were already taking the pill. However, the acceptance of the pill was not without a struggle. Many, especially believers, found the idea of ​​birth control downright shocking. Sex 'for the sake of sex' would be the result, while sex was only for procreation!

Preventing pregnancy was already possible before the pill, because condoms and diaphragms already existed. But they were certainly not accepted and generally available. In 1968 the Pope banned the use of all contraceptives. Yet many Dutch Catholics ignored this commandment, sometimes even on the advice of their pastor.

Except sex for sex (the sexual revolution ), the pill had another important effect:With the pill, motherhood was no longer automatically the fulfillment of every woman's life. Women's emancipation received an enormous impulse, because women suddenly had much more freedom to organize their lives differently. In 1970, feminists in Amsterdam demanded the inclusion of the pill in the health insurance fund. "Mother's will is the law, go to bed with the pill," read a banner. Two years later, the women got their way. Until the second Balkenende cabinet takes office:after more than thirty years, the pill is no longer reimbursed.

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