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I, Molly Young from the Miami University Alumni Association, as part of the objects that Changed the World Lecture Series organized by the Miami University Humanities Center and the Miami University Alumni Association.
Today we present the pill with Kimberly Hamlin.
[inaudible] is professor of her most recent book, free thinker, sex suffrage in the extraordinary life.
Of Helen Hamilton Gardner, published by WW Norton tells the fascinating story of the fallen woman who reinvented herself and became.
The most potent factor in congressional passage of the Nineteenth Amendment.
And the highest ranking woman in federal government.
This project received both the National Endowment for the Humanities Public Scholar Award and the Carrie Chapman cat Award, research on women in politics.
She writes frequently for the Washington Post.
And most recently, you can also read Kimberly's work in Chronicle of Higher Ed essay.
Why are there so few women full professors in the [inaudible] essay?
What the historian wants your own kids to know about Women's History Month., and the fast Company essay about her hashtag me to class.
Just show our viewers know questions were collected during registration and Dr.
Hamlin will address some of those throughout the webinar.
You'll also have the option to ask a question during the webinar by clicking the Ask a Question button at the bottom of your screen.
Please note that in the interest of time, we may have available, we may not get to every question.
Today's webinar will last about an hour, including those time for questions and answers.
Please welcome, Dr.
Kimberly Hamlin, and thank you for taking the time to join us today.
Thank you so much, Molly, for that nice introduction, and thanks for [inaudible] for making sure we're all set tonight.
And also so many things to the Miami University Humanities Center for organizing this fantastic lecture series, and for being such a big part of my life at Miami.
And supporting so many wonderful programs that support faculty, students research, bringing in outside researchers.
I think.
Humanities Center is one of the very best things about university.
Some delighted to participate in this event today.
So as Molly said, I am Professor of History and American Studies at Miami.
This means I teach a wide array of courses and most frequently, I teach courses on women's history.
The history of sex and gender, history of medicine, and last fall, I taught a new class called me two a cultural history.
So that's my range of teaching addition to various other introductory classes and capstones and whatnot.
In my research centers on the history of women.
And women's rights in the US with a sideline in history of medicine.
So that's why I selected the pill as my object that change the world.
Also, I'm very happy to be here on March 31st, the last day of women's history month, which I love hates.
As you can read.
About in Ms.
Magazine essay that Molly mentioned.
And I'm gonna make the controversial claim OWL, you can discuss it with me during the question and answer period, but I'm gonna make the claim that no object has changed women's lives more than the birth control pill.
It is the only medicine so well-known that it goes by the name of the pill.
For more than 50 years, it has been the most prescribed medication in the world.
So tonight we'll discuss the history of the pill.
Some of the controversy surrounding it, and why it is my object that changed the world.
So I'm going to share my screen now.
So we can also look at some images.
[SPEAKER] To understand why I selected the pill as my object that change the world.
We first have to understand what the world was like before the pill.
We don't have time this evening to go back to the beginning of time.
But please trust me when I say that women have always been seeking out and trying to control reproduction, we can talk about the pre 19th century things in the Q&A, if you would like.
But today I'm going to start with what the world was like before the pill beginning in 1800 in the United States.
The US fertility rate in 1800, as you can see here, was about seven live births per woman, that was the average.
So now to give birth seven times, as you surely know, this means most women were pregnant.
Many more than seven times.
Also, this graph does not indicate the high rate of maternal death.
And infant mortality in the US throughout the 19th century.
Women knew that to be pregnant was.
A risky, generally life-threatening enterprise for themselves and for their children.
So that's the first thing I want us to think about when we imagine what life was like for women before the birth control pill.
And here I'm focusing again, mostly on the 19th century for now.
Woman didn't herself having difficult childbirth.
She surely new friends, neighbors, sisters, who did.
The rates was approximately one out of every 100 women.
Women would have died in childbirth.
So you knew of or knew a woman who had died in childbirth.
So now our second question we might think about would be, given this reality of the dangers of childbirth and and infant mortality, we can also see here on this graph, the precipitous drop from just about seven babies per woman in 1800 to just over three when we get to 1900, we might intervene.
There's shearing notification on the bottom that's blocking some of the dates.
So just so [inaudible] viewers get the full picture.
[SPEAKER] I don't know.
What to do about that.
Let me see if I can move it.
Thank you so much for letting me know.
You're welcome.
My apologies FOR AN arrest.
I'm so glad you did.
Let's see.
And if not, you can just narrate around it.
Will do my best.
I see this one right here.
[SPEAKER] Thank you.
So by 1900, the fertility rate drops closer to three.
Just over three.
And then we get to two by 1940 when it's steps backups.
This is an important part of our story.
So before the birth control pill, you might be asking, what accounts for the steep decline and what were women's options.
So I'm going to share a few images in let me apologize in advance that some of these images are rather harrowing, if you imagine how they might have been used.
So the first is a 19th century syringe.
One of the more popular methods of birth control in the 19th century.
Was [inaudible], whereby women would inject various [inaudible] and potions and chemicals in the hopes of preventing pregnancy.
So that's method number one.
Method number two.
It's a thinly veiled category of not very effective medications called female pills.
We see these advertised and all sorts of 19th century periodicals, newspapers, magazines.
These words who of the more popular brands we see, pierces, penny, Royal.
That was a well-known abortive fashions.
I'm not saying it was effective, but that's something that women turn to in the hopes of preventing or ending pregnancy.
Along with the one next door to it, Welch's female pills.
So these were clandestinely advertised.
Variety of homeopathic potions that women would ingest in the hopes of preventing or controlling pregnancy.
Another option is you can surely see here what this is, this is a civil war, condom, Civil War era condoms.
Condoms have been around since time immemorial, but when Charles Goodyear invented.
Balkanized rubber in the 18 thirties, this made condoms much more widely available on both sides of the Atlantic.
However, condom use was very much frowned upon.
It was considered something used only with prostitutes into prevent venereal disease, not so much pregnancy.
So this was not a birth control method available too are popular among middle-class or married women.
It was something to do on the slide when you visited a prostitute.
Another 19th century birth control method was known as [inaudible] this was right here is a solid gold, as you can.
See here, history that women would insert it with some sponge, ideally to prevent contraception, but you can imagine the effectiveness and the pain involved in this method.
The most commonly used method was [inaudible] interruptus, or we call withdrawal method.
Now, as my high school sex ed teacher told us, what do we call people who practice that withdrawal method?
We call those people parents because this is also not the most common method or the most effective method of contraception.
Another popular 19th century method of contraception was the rhythm method.
However, this was totally not effective because scientists did not figure out when women ovulated until the 19 twenties.
In fact, in the 19th century, medical advice books told women that the safest time to have.
Of course, was about 14 days after their last menstrual cycle, which we know today is exactly the opposite time of when you'd want to be having intercourse if you were hoping to prevent contraception.
So from this quick individual study of 19th century contraceptive methods.
A few themes arise.
Few of these are effective, most are very ineffective., and most of these methods involve male participation, and or male consent, making them less available to women if they are available at all.
Another problem that we don't really have time to talk about today, but that makes an important context for our discussions of what reproduction, what sex was like for women before the birth control pill is.
Syphilis and gonorrhea were the most common infectious diseases of the 19th century..
More than all other infectious diseases combined.
So this also frames women's experiences of sex in the 19th century.
Before the advent of penicillin in the 19 forties.
So it may come as no surprise to you that in this era 19th century, early 20th century era, there was a broad and brisk traffic in undercover, underground abortions.
This is an compilation of ads taken from a variety of newspapers, advertising a gravity of a [inaudible] fashions.
And you can see here at the bottom.
The stream, your thing, the madam rest still add, She was a noted New York City abortionists.
Women had few options, most of which were not safe.
Many of which were unsafe, even to the point of being deadly at the time in the 19th century also had no right to say no to their husbands.
The idea that men naturally wanted to have regular sex, whereas women would not have been interested in sex is pervasive throughout the 19th century.
Female reformers railed against the sexual double standard, but it was very ingrained that sex was a wisely duty, that women were not supposed to enjoy it.
But they were supposed to submit without question.
So one of the first ways in which we see women begin to argue for a some semblance of reproductive autonomy.
Is the late 19th century push for what women's rights activists called voluntary motherhood.
By that, they simply meant the right to say no to their husbands.
And the right to time pregnancies, you know, 2-3 years apart in a way in which they would be safer for women.
But asking for such a small modicum of control was very controversial, and not necessarily widely accepted.
[SPEAKER] Further complicating women's efforts to control their own reproductive lives is the efforts of this man, Anthony Comstock.
Anthony Comstock is what's known as a moral reformer or an [inaudible] crusader.
He was really active in New York City and the teams sixties and 18 seventies.
And he was very concerned about the huge influx of young unmarried people who moved into the big cities after the Civil War.
Previously, young people had mostly lived at home until marriage.
There, court ship there early pre-marital years.
Had been tightly monitored by parents, neighbors, family members.
But when they move to the city, in record numbers in the late 19th century, who was watching them, who was chapped, roading them.
What were they doing out in these mixed public spaces if the Comstock wanted to know, he was especially concerned about publication.
Such as the one here picture next to him, the New York Sporting Whip, which frequently advertised birth control methods.
Thinly veiled references to sex and even abortion.
He sought to outlaw such publications and he did so with a vengeance.
He first partners with the why MCA, the Young Men's Christian Association of New York, and passes statewide anti obscenity codes and then he takes his efforts to the federal level.
And in 1873, he succeeds in convincing Congress to pass what are now known as the [inaudible] [inaudible] after him.
And I'm gonna share the text of this with you and bare with me for a minute while I read this aloud.
If we're in one of my classes, I would ask one of you to read it aloud because it is so in-depth and so capacious of what is covered in the Comstock laws.
And I think it's wise.
For us to take a moment to look at them in detail, because that really sets the scene for much of the rest of our story about the birth control pill.
So this is taken from the congressional record.
So its a listing specifically what the Comstock Law covers, and we will see here that it bars any efforts to sell, lend, giveaway in any manner, exhibits offer to sell to lend or give away, or in any manner, exhibit or shall otherwise publish or offer to publish in any manner or shall possess for any such purpose or purposes, any obscene book, pamphlet, paper, writing, advertisement, circular, print, picture drawing or other representation, figure or image on or paper, or other material or any cast instruments or other article of an immoral nature, or any drug, or medicine or any article, whatever for the prevention of conception.
Or for causing unlawful abortion, or shall advertise the same for sale or shell right, or print or caused to be written or printed, any card, circular, book, pamphlets, advertisement, or notice of any kind stating when where.
How are of whom or by what means any of the articles in this section here and before mentioned can be purchased or obtained, or shall manufacturer, draw, or print, or in any wise, make any such articles shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and Anne there of in any courts of the United States on an will be convicted and imprisoned at hard labor in the penitentiary for not less than six months.
Nor more than five years, and find not less than a $100 or more than two..
I mean, wow, that is such a broad ranging law covering basically even thinking about talking about birth control.
So the [inaudible] laws squash any efforts by women to discuss, disseminate, share, even simply publish basic reproductive anatomy books, just the simple fact of knowing how your body works, how are babies made becomes illegal under Comstock?, and who decides what is the moral Comstock himself?
He becomes appointed inspector general of the the US Postal Service, where he basically decides what is considered a moral.
So this is the sort of law that women are up against now for nearly a 100 years, the effects of the Comstock Law or immediate, as we see a huge clamp down in the Klan desk died advertisements, I showed.
You earlier that thinly veiled references to pills that help restore your menstrual flow.
These all become dangerous territory under Comstock.
At the same time, the late 19th century is when we see male gynecologists firmly wrest control of female reproductive medicine from midwives.
And it's also when we see abortion criminalized in all states by the 1880s previously abortion before quickening, which means, when you can feel the baby move, was not illegal, but it becomes illegal as male gynecologists take over for midwives by the 1880s now.
This doesn't mean that discussion of birth control or female reproductive autonomy goes away.
It's still exists, of course, it just becomes even more clandestine, and even more fringe.
One of the few places where women and men were openly discussing birth control and or female reproductive autonomy were free thought and free love publications such as this one, my personal favorite, Lucifer, [inaudible], has there ever been a more evocative name for a newspaper?
I don't know.
So we still see women and men discussing birth control, but it becomes.
Much more rare, much more underground and constantly under threat of prosecution as the publishers of Lucifer, the library work by Anthony Comstock.
Also, you might be wondering what about women?
Did women's rights advocates, advocates, or push for birth control?
Not really.
For a couple of reasons.
One, they couldn't really even [inaudible] our universe in which women were supposed to engage in non reproductive.
Sex they had been so taught that it was not a thing for women to enjoy.
And second of all, they did not want to empower men to visit prostitutes.
Even more.
Women in the 19th century imagined that of birth control were more widely accessible.
It will be used mainly by.
Prostitutes, thereby further encouraging their husbands, sons, brothers, to frequent prostitutes.
What female reformers in the 19th century pushed for instead, with a single sexual standard, meaning to hold men to the same standard of sexual morality as women, not for women to behave as men.
That was what they pushed for the also pushed for voluntary motherhood.
Should any female reformers had wanted to talk more openly about birth control, they would have been scared away by cautionary tales such as that a Victoria would haul, Victoria [inaudible] is the first.
First woman to run for president in the United States.
She ran in 1872 with Frederick Douglass as her vice president on the equal rights party platform.
Victoria would haul, became famous first as the first female stockbroker.
This made her very rich.
So she started her.
From newspaper with her sister called would haul and Claflin weekly.
She then became the first woman to testify before Congress when she argued that women were already enfranchised under the newly ratified 14th and 15th Amendments, which extended the franchise to black men and clarified the rights of citizenship.
So she argued as did other women after her, that because women were citizens must be they too could vote.
This was not what the Supreme Court thought as they ruled in 1875, minor be hopper set that citizenship does not equal voting rights, but that's helped Victoria would haul came to prominence in that.
What inspired her to run for president in 1872, but victorial would Hall was also a free thinker and a free lover.
She's from Homer, ohio.
And when SHE WAS just a teenager, she was born to unusual family who sends me.
Victoria wood Hall, who was known to be an excellent clairvoyance.
Spiritualists mind reader out to tell fortunes at a young age and this is with a family used to sustain themselves financially.
So our parents married her off when she was 15 to an alcoholic man, nearly twice her age.
As you might imagine, raises questions for Victoria, [inaudible] about this so-called sanctity of marriage.
So she becomes a critic of traditional marriage.
She ends up divorcing her husband and critiquing marriage as she goes on to take additional lovers.
So she's a free thinker and a free lover.
And when she runs for president, this is how the press characterizes her.
This really irks, Victoria wood haul because she knows that men are constantly not faithful having sex before marriage, after marriage, extramarital sex, and she knows furthermore, that the most popular man in America, the reverence Henry Ward Beecher.
The brother of Harriet Beecher Stowe, has been having AN affair with one of his parishioners.
So she can't take this double standard that Henry Ward Beecher, this minister is having a fair while she's being mocked in The Press.
So she publishes the details of Henry Ward Beecher affair in her newspaper.
What does.
This lead to?
This leads to vectorial wood halls, arrests under the Comstock laws, she is arrested simply for writing about the affair someone else was having.
So Victoria would wood hall the first woman to run for president, spends the election night of 1872 in New York City, Jail.
It has a chilling effect as you might imagine, on other women WHO might have thought or felt the urge to speak more openly against the sexual double standard.
Or in favor of female reproductive autonomy.
So I want to pause here because this is part one of my talk.
What was life like before the birth control pill.
For women?
And that's part one, part two will be when we get to the birth control pill and the development thereof but now I want to see do we have any questions, comments, concerns thus far?
We do have a couple of questions.
Let's see okay.
So Cray asks I think is spring boarding off the dangerous methods of birth control at the time.
And he asked, didn't it make some sense to crack down on the advertisement, the distribution, all of the things that go along with getting it out there to people who would use it?
Sure you can see that they were not necessarily safe somewhere, safer than others, but that was not [inaudible] goal.
That was not his stated mission, he did not embark on this mission with the health of women in minds.
He embarked on this mission with the sense of protected.
Young people in the cities.
He did not, he was very much concerned about pre-marital sex and the virtuousness of marriage.
So he expressly targeted women who were promoting safe, effective forms of birth control, and even just knowledge of female and excellent.
That makes good sense.
Let's see, Zoe asks, did these Comstock laws also apply to pornography At the time?
So the reach of the Comstock laws is wide.
In many ways he was targeting.
What we would consider today, obviously pornography, but that's why I wanted to read that ridiculous.
[inaudible] bill to see he's targeting everything and anything that remotely mentioned sex or birth control.
So yes, pornography, but also even simple pamphlets like what you should know about.
Your body pamphlets would be targeted under Comstock.
Basically that, language I think was designed to meet all four, yes.
So I have a question.
This is my own personal question.
You mentioned Lucifer in the light there and you specifically mentioned men and women having dialogue as it relates to [inaudible].
So were there any men seeing use women didn't feel empowered to verbalize or articulate, was there any [inaudible], we had [inaudible] sorted.
So there were some men in the free love movements, fringe and small 19th century movement, but there were some men in that movement who did articulate the pain, horrors, and fear associated both with pregnancy and intended, pregnancy frequent, pregnancy, and what that must entailed.
For women.
And so people like John Humphrey, noise who founded a utopian community, argued what he called male continents, meaning withdrawal and so he said this is what men should do.
This is the safer way to think about in practice sex, also the man who founded the Battle Creek sanitarium in Michigan, Kellogg, the mentor of the cornflake.
He also had a lot of ideas about male continents.
Sylvester Graham, inventor of the graham cracker.
He was another one of these quirky 19th century reformers, and its impetus for the graham cracker.
It has also advocated vegetarian diet.
Was he thought.
But that eating bland food would quell male lust.
So he did this out of an urge to kind of keep the male lust at bay and allow women sort of a break from frequent intercourse with their husbands.
So that is the background of the graham cracker was.
Not a vehicle for S'mores.
It was supposed to be like a bland, healthy, brown bread.
[SPEAKER] Well, that's an interesting fact.
[inaudible] forever more differently.
We have one more question that came in.
Let's see.
A question from Ron here, and he wants to know how would [inaudible] was able to get a divorce granted the era was restrictive of divorce in women not having any rights.
Victoria would have had a lot of money.
[SPEAKER] So she was the clairvoyant to coordinate.
Vanderbilt, who was one of those 19th century magnets.
And so he paid her, well, that's any set her in her sister up with their own New York City brokerage.
So that helped also, she didn't really care about stigma and she after she got divorced, she still lived with her husband.
He lived with her in her mansion and that was what brought up these charges of free love because she was living also with her new lover.
In the reason she explained that she kept the ex - husband around is that he was the parents to their child.
So it was an unusual setup, but brought her a great degree of national scrutiny.
I'm sure considering her various other aware amplified the scrutiny.
Well, I think that's all we have for now.
And just before your trains come back up, I actually I it's hard to read from where I am, but I think you can click Hide [inaudible].
Awesome, thanks.
So part to the birth control pill.
[SPEAKER] So what brings birth control back to the forefront, or the efforts of these two women?
Margaret Sanger, pictured on the left and Barry, where Dennett.
On the right.
We're ging to start with Mary, Ware Dennett because she is lesser known.
Mary Ware Dennett started off life as a suffrage activist.
She was the Secretary of the National American Woman Suffrage Association, or NAWSA that's the main group of suffragists.
But she parted ways with NAWSA in 19.
14 and turned her attention to birth control.
She had become interested in birth control after hearing Margaret [inaudible] give a talk about it in New York City.
Mary [inaudible] published a pamphlet called The sex side of life, which she intended to be for her two sons.
You have her two, sons within shared it with a wire.
Birth control really resonated with her as a cause because she had nearly died giving birth to her third son, who did die as a result of their difficult childbirth.
She went on to found the American Birth Control League and the voluntary parenthood league.
Mary, where Dennett's approach to birth control.
Centered free speech and reproductive autonomy.
She thought the best way forward will be a straight repeal of the Comstock laws.
But SHE AND her vision of birth control were undone by her fiercely competitive rival, Margaret Sanger.
Pictured here on the left.
So this mary, where Dennett's vision of birth control is sort of the path not taken.
We might reflect upon this in the end during questions, what would things have been like if Mary [inaudible] vision of birth control had succeeded, but instead, we have Margaret Sanger was born to a free thinking.
Meaning agnostic or atheist father and iris Catholic mother in upstate New York.
Margaret Sanger's mother had 18 pregnancies and 11 live birth, and she died at just 50, which Margaret Sanger always attributed to the toll these 18 pregnancies and 11 bursts had taken.
On her body.
So it was Margaret Sanger's kind of first initial impulse for birth control.
She then trained in, worked as a nurse on the Lower East Side of New York where she said she was most commonly called in to deal with patients suffering the effects of self induced or back alley abortions.
She recounted the tail of the epiphany case, the case of safety sex patients.
Margaret Sanger was called to attend to after a botched home abortion attempt.
She cures or helps Sadie Sachs recover, but three months later she's called to Sadie Sachs apartment again, only to find her dead after a second botched abortion attempt.
City sex had told her doctor that she could not possibly have any more children, and she also found it impossible to resist her husband and her doctor told her, just tell your husband to sleep on the roof.
So Margaret Sanger began writing a column about birth control in a Socialist newspaper.
And she coined the term birth control in 1914.
She opened the first birth control clinic in 1916.
This was the predecessor of Planned Parenthood.
She immediately was arrested for violating various components of the Comstock Law and she flipped.
The country for England.
She returned to the US, even more determined than ever to make birth control a national priority.
She devotes the rest of her life to developing, promoting, and circulating a birth control method that women could control themselves to do so, she decides to partner with male doctors, this is where she parts ways with Mary Ware Dennett, Margaret Sanger thought that most expedience, most efficient way to attain this sort of birth control methods.
She desired, which she described as a magic pill, would be to partner with doctors and medical establishment.
This also.
leads her to participate in the very popular at the time population control movements.
And in some cases, to attend eugenics conferences will also return to that issue.
She was not really a strong proponent of those ideas.
She did so strategically in the hopes of making birth control seem acceptable.
To mainstream Americans.
Margaret Sanger was deeply frustrated that in the past 100 years since the advent of vulcanized rubber, there had basically been no gains made in terms of effective contraceptive.
And to drive this point home, I just want to show you this one, ad for lice.
As you may or may not know, was frequently advertised to women as [inaudible] use to killed germs, as you see here, a concentrated germ killer.
But which women knew and you can see from the text, by germ they meant sperm.
So this was basically.
What women had on offer up until the 19 forties.
Margaret Sanger thought this was an abomination and she wanted to make sure that there was a birth control method women could control themselves.
What are the problems with condoms obviously, is that you need a man to wear one.
She wanted a pill that a method that women.
Could use discreetly with or without male knowledge and control themselves.
So in the late 19 forties, she partners with her friend, Catherine Dexter McCormick, and this time, Catherine Dexter McCormick is in her seventies.
Margaret Sanger is 68, and they determine that before they die they are going to make it possible for women to control their reproductive lives.
This IS a picture OF young Catherine McCormick when she was a [inaudible] just in the 19 tens, she was also one of the first women to graduate from MIT.
So she has the advantage of being a scientist to she majors in biology at MIT.
So after graduation, she married the heir to the International Harvester company, who was worth millions but two years into their marriage in the 19 tens, Catherine McCormick's husband was diagnosed with schizophrenia, concerned that it was hereditary.
Catherine McCormick vowed never to have children.
When her husband died in 1947, Catherine McCormick gain control of his $15 million fortune.
So she rings up Margaret Sanger, and she says, let's do this thing.
They enlist the help of this guy, Gregory Pincus, Margaret Sanger, bn meeting with him in 1950.
She brought Catherine McCormick along in 1953, where upon Katherine McCormick took out her checkbook and wrote [inaudible] a check for $40 thousand.
Who was Gregory Pincus?
He was an expert on mammalian reproduction, he had started his career as a promising professor at Harvard, but he became infamous in the 19 thirties for successfully fertilizing rabbits in vitro.
This doomed his once promising career.
And when McCormick and sang or approached him, he was working on the fringes of respectable science outfit.
He founded called the WR foundation for experimental biology, where he did double duty as a janitor to save money within, weeks though, Pincus had successfully proven that project.
Limits ovulation.
At this point, Catherine McCormick moves from Sam from California back east to supervise and expedite the development of the birth control pill.
[inaudible] then reaches out to John rock and noted fertility specialist also in Massachusetts.
John [inaudible].
Was a devout Catholic daily, a tender of mass of a father of five, who kept a crucifix above his desk.
He firmly believed that the birth control pill would accord with the church's mandates against artificial checks on conception.
He thought the pill simply perfected the rhythm method.
Which the church had approved in 1936.
In fact, John Rock had opened a rhythm method clinic, in Boston shortly after this church decree of 1936, John Rock was so sure that the church would approve the birth control pill, if they only understood how it worked, that he engineered it to mirror the rhythm method.
So the reason why the birth control pill was three weeks on, one week off is because John rock thought this would appease the Catholic church.
There is no medical, no physiological reason why the pills should be that way.
John rock made it.
So because he was seeking the approval of the Catholic Church.
This instead gives women on the pill a whopping dose of hormones that they would not have had.