Date of Award

Spring 2020

Degree Type


Director of Thesis

Dr. David Snyder

First Reader

Dr. David Simmons

Second Reader

Dr. David Simmons


Contraception became revolutionized with the emergence of the birth control pill. As of 1965, the Supreme Court ruled in favor of the legalization of the pill to be prescribed to married women. Finally, women were able to take birth control, and their lives, into their own hands. However, in the areas surrounding Columbia, South Carolina, advocates for contraception faced a variety of challenges in encouraging support for birth control in their local community from the 1960’s through mid 1970’s. This time period was marked by the beginning of desegregation following the Civil Rights Act and abolishment of Jim Crow Laws as well as conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union in the Cold War. Additionally, in the southern region of the United States, the social taboos surrounding contraception, which could be contributed to the strong religious devotion as well as the lack of proper sexual education and limited access to healthcare, ignited an intense controversy over birth control. However, advocates for improved contraception in the state of South Carolina, specifically Planned Parenthood of Richland and Lexington Counties, were strategic in both the way they promoted their cause and organized their campaign. They were able to confront and utilize these issues to their advantage and establish their organization as a respected and integral part of their local communities that lasts to this day.

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© 2020, Madison A Lee