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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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TODAY
Sep 19, 2014
No campaigners celebrate as results come in at the Scottish independence referendum count at the Royal Highland Centre in Edinburgh,Scotland,Friday, Sept. 19, 2014. Scottish voters have rejected independence and decided that Scotland will remain part of the United Kingdom. The result announced early Friday was the one favored by Britain's political leaders, who had campaigned hard in recent weeks to convince Scottish voters to stay. It dashed many Scots' hopes of breaking free and building their own nation. (AP Photo/David Cheskin)

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