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J Womens Hist. 2010;22(3):88-111.

From breakthrough to bust: the brief life of Norplant, the contraceptive implant.


This essay examines the history of Norplant from its development in the 1960s, to its approval by the FDA in 1990, through its tumultuous reception in American society, to its removal from the market in 2000. The rejection of Norplant by women was influenced by the social and political climate of the 1990s, in which a feminist health agenda, a consumerist ideology in health care, a growing tendency toward class action litigation, and increasing distrust of the pharmaceutical industry worked together to empower women to take charge of their reproductive decision making. The rhetoric of population control in the 1960s, when the pill and IUD were introduced, was very different from the language of individual choice that dominated in the 1990s, the era of Norplant. This investigation of Norplant extends the historical analysis of reproductive politics to the very end of the twentieth century.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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