This work is a light-hearted look at the tumultuous 110 year history and development of the intrauterine device (IUD). It broaches the subject of accessible and equitable contraception the world over and wonders (just a little bit) about making reproductive health care, open source.
Some fun IUD facts:
An IUD is a small, often T-shaped birth control device inserted into a woman's uterus and is more than 99% effective at pregnancy prevention for between 3 – 10 years.
The first IUD, made of silkworm gut, was developed in 1909 by German physician Richard Richter.
In 1960, Dr. Lazar Margulies of New York created the first thermoplastic IUD and tested it in his wife, it was the precursor to our modern IUDs.
IUDs are the most popular means of reversible birth control in the world with more than 160 million users – over two thirds of those women live in China.
IUDs played a pivotal role in the Chinese One Child Policy - from 1980 to 2014, 324 million women were inserted with IUDs modified in such a way that they could not be removed in a doctor's office, instead requiring surgical removal.
Another German physician, Ernst Gräfenberg (after whom the G-Spot is named), created the first Ring IUD which was made of silver filaments. His work was suppressed during the Nazi regime, when contraception was considered a threat to Aryan women.
Pro-lifer, Donald Trump, promised during his presidential campaign that he would appoint anti-abortion judges to the Supreme Court and that Roe v. Wade would be overturned “automatically.” (Roe v. Wade was a 1973 landmark decision by the US Supreme Court making abortion legal in many circumstances.)
During the 2017 New Zealand general election, Labour leader Jacinda Ardern said the Labour government would decriminalise abortion in New Zealand.