A Birth Control Champion You've Probably Never Heard Of
Feeling gratitude is a rather old-fashioned concept these days. We're too busy, too tired, perhaps too annoyed, to take a moment and realize how fortunate we are. And to say thank you.
I'm grateful for the revolutionaries who in the mid- to late-20th century, at their peril, improved the quality of, and increased access to, artificial methods of birth control. In his lively new book, The Birth of the Pill, Jonathan Eig singles out a quartet of these early radicals: birth control activist/nurse Margaret Sanger, researcher Gregory Pincus, wealthy widow Katharine Dexter McCormick and Catholic doctor John Rock.
I'm also thankful for another significant contributor to the field of reproductive health. He's nowhere in Eig's book nor is he known by ordinary Americans, yet he has played an enormous role in the development and improvement of contraceptive methods. Unlike Eig's heros, he's also still alive. He's a reproductive physiologist who has been teaching about, and doing research on, birth control in his predominately Catholic country of Chile since the early 1960s, at some peril to his career. His name is Horacio Croxatto.