Does Questioning the Pill Move Women Backwards?

“Opposition to the birth control pill is opposition to women’s emancipation.”[1]

Dr. Amy Tuteur’s words echo the sentiments of many.  In our society, it’s difficult to criticize the birth control pill without people accusing you of being anti-woman.  The pill is not the only way to effectively avoid pregnancy, but people hold onto it with a very tight grasp.  For a culture that is so open to talking about birth control, it’s amazing how little people actually feel comfortable saying about it.

It’s time for us to realize that we can criticize the pill without criticizing the women who take it.

Women don’t choose to take birth control because they are trying to harm their bodies, their relationships, or the planet. They choose birth control because they are trying to make a responsible decision. But we cannot make responsible decisions if we shelter ourselves from information. Educating ourselves about the dangers of the pill gives us more information.

Sometimes medicine emancipates us by healing our injuries and illnesses and empowering us to live healthier lives. But not this drug- not the birth control pill. Fertility is not a disease. The pill works by shutting down a woman’s fertility- the beautiful and intricate aspects of her biology that help make her, well, a woman. Sounds pretty anti-woman to me…quite literally.

Our biology is not something external to us that we must crush; our bodies are a part of who we are. When we learn about how our biology operates, and use this knowledge to plan our families, we transform what Dr. Tuteur views as the source of our enslavement into the source of our emancipation. Talk about girl power.

The pill separates women from our fertility. In this light, opposition to the birth control pill is not opposition to women’s emancipation; rather, it is opposition to the lie we have been told that, to be emancipated, a woman must change who she is.

I would ask Dr. Tuteur, what does separating ourselves from our fertility emancipate women from? Is women’s emancipation about changing who we are so the outside oppressive forces have less challenging them? Do we have to look and function more like men to demand respect? To ask for equal treatment? To think of ourselves as worthy?

That’s not true emancipation; that’s giving into the lie that we are not good enough as we naturally are. If Dr. Tuteur believes that women cannot be free until we change our bodies, then she does not believe that the female body is good enough. Can we not be free without alteration?

Men and women can work together to plan our families without the birth control pill because we have the power to learn the language of our bodies, thanks to Fertility Awareness Based Methods and Natural Family Planning. We deserve to understand our bodies because women deserve to be accepted by society as we are, fertility and all. Be whole. Be yourself. Learn more at






  1. As in so many other spheres, the first step to empowerment is knowledge. Please, people, learn about Natural Family Planning. It’s a whole new world.


  2. Opposing the pill is not the same as opposing women or their right to equality. After all, equality means having the right to make choices whether it’s about your career or your fertility or whether you take your husbands name at marriage or whatever. However, I disagree that using the pill or any other contraceptive distances a woman from what makes her a woman. It’s important that women know their bodies and how it works but that doesn’t mean that NFP is the way to go for women (and couples) wanting to protect themselves for unplanned pregnancy.


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