History KS3 / GCSE: The development of the contraceptive pill

From New York City, Dr. Alison Foreman explores the most important advance for women in 2000 years – the contraceptive pill.

Foreman considers the reasons behind Margaret Sanger’s life-long struggle to develop a contraceptive pill, and the way in which this has radically changed the lives of women across the globe since its creation.

Historical documents and photographs are used to illustrate the various obstacles that Sanger had to overcome.

Sanger’s grandson explains the journey she took to turn her hopes and dreams into a reality.

This short film is from the BBC Two series, The Ascent of Woman.

Teacher Notes

Pupils could create a diagram illustrating the effects of the contraceptive pill on a woman’s life and then the wider impact on society.

For example: greater wealth, increased choice, the freedom to have a career, the freedom to decide when to start a family, more women in the workplace, population control.

Curriculum Notes

This short film is suitable for teaching history at KS3 and KS4/GCSE in England, Wales and Northern Ireland and Fourth Level and National 4 and 5 in Scotland.

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