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May 13, 1998

The Pill—25 Years Ago and Today

Author Affiliations

Margaret A.WinkerMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthorPhil B.FontanarosaMD, Senior EditorIndividualAuthor

JAMA. 1998;279(18):1443-1444. doi:10-1001/pubs.JAMA-ISSN-0098-7484-279-18-jac80006

To the Editor.—Ms Seaman's book, The Doctor's Case Against thePill, deserves a much more serious and accurate review than the review by Dr Levinson1 published in JAMA. Levinson states that studies were under way before the original publication of Seaman's book, eventually resulting in changes in "the pill." That is true but irrelevant. The importance of the book is that women read it, rose up, and protested publicly. Such protests move corporate manufacturers and corporations move medical researchers. The US Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare acknowledged at the time that he had read the book and called it "a major factor in our strengthening the language in the Final Warning published in the Federal Register to be included in each package of the pill."2 Seaman inspired women, corporations, and the government to action. Yet Levinson proclaims that he cannot recommend it to the public!

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