Contraception: The Safe and Effective Pills

No previous medical phenomenon has ever quite matched the headlong U.S. rush to use the oral contraceptives now universally known as "the pills." An estimated 5,000,000 American women now take them; and, as a special advisory committee of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said: "Never have so many people taken such potent drugs voluntarily over such a protracted period for an objective other than the control of disease."

The committee was appointed almost a year ago to study the efficacy and safety of the pills. Its report, published this week, makes...

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