Lethbridge Herald, The (Newspaper) - August 27, 1974, Lethbridge, Alberta
Tuesday, August LETHBRIDGE The pill celebrates 20th birthday this year Fertility research leads to contraceptive discovery instead The pill is 20 this year and scientists still don't know exactly what it does to a woman's body, or what all its dangers might be. Research con- tinues even as new birth control drugs are being developed, some perhaps as dramatic as The Pill. SHREWSBURY, Mass. (AP) In 1952, few talked about population problems, and birth control didn't concern Dr. MinChueh Chang as he despondently walked into his boss' office to report the apparent failure of his fertility research. Dr. Gregory Pincus listened attentively as Chang explained that his hormone treatments in rabbits and rats, which he hoped would increase fertilization, instead only seemed to stop ovulation. "I was not pleased but Pincus was rather ex- Chang remembers. "He was a man of vi- sion." Pincus's "vision" came in part from friends who had begun talking about population control and the need for improved contraceptives. What for Chang was failure, for Pincus seemed oppor- tunity, the opportunity to develop a hormone compound that stopped ovulation and therefore acted as a contraceptive. By 1954, Chang and Pincus had found two progesterone hormone compounds that worked. The birth-control pill was born. In the 1930s researchers had found steroids which inhibited ovulation, but these hormones were scarce then, and they couldn't be taken orally. The great achievement of Dr. Chang and Dr. Pincus was the development of a birth- control compound taken by mouth. Twenty years later, "the Pill" is a term syn- onymous with contraception. About 50 million women throughout the world use it, international government studies say. Never before have so many people regularly used drugs as potent as hormone compounds for such extended periods. They do so despite con- tinuing arguments about side-effects and po- tential dangers from long-term use. The work by Chang and Pincus at the Worcester Foundation for Experimental Biology in Shrewsbury was only the beginning. Since then, several new formulas for the Pill have been developed. Combinations of hormones in various strengths and dosages give users in many countries a choice among 25 to 30 brands. Chang, born in China "about 60 years" ago, still does fertility research at the Worcester Foundation. He says he is more interested in basic research than social application, "but it is gratifying to know what came out of our early work." Pills are known to prevent production of eggs or change the lining of the uterus so that a fer- tilized egg cannot attach itself. But scientists acknowledge that they do not know in fine detail what birth control pills do to a woman's body to prevent pregnancy. No one understands all the effects of tipping the delicate hormone balance. Two pioneer campaigners for an oral, "foolproof" contraceptive were Margaret Sanger, founder of the Planned Parenthood Federation, and Dr. Abe Stone, one of her collaborators in New York. In the early 1950s, they approached Pincus, well-known for his work in reproductive biology, and offered to fund initial research. Pincus, who died in 1967, became the principal promoter of further research. He went on world tours to raise funds and to encourage skeptical scientists and laymen to accept the Pill. He also directed field trials in Puerto Rico in the mid-1950s which found the Pill safe and effective. After follow-up tests, G. D. Searle and Co. marketed the first contraceptive pill, called Enovid, in 1961. The Pill's use has climbed steadily, particular- ly among women under 30. The only noticeable dip in popularity came in 1969 and 1970 when the hazards of the Pill received wide publicity. The side effects throw a long shadow over oral contraceptives. Studies show that pill users run a greater risk than non-users of blood clotting in the veins, stroke, high blood pressure, gall bladder disorder and other problems. Some side effects appeared to lessen when second-generation pills with lower hormone do- sages were introduced in 1969, but critics main- tain that too much still is unknown about possi- ble long-term effects, such as increased cancer risk or genetic problems in offspring. Proponents of the Pill say the risks are minimal considering the social benefits, par- ticularly population control And a five-year analysis of health data on British women published recently by the Royal College of General Practitioners concluded that risks were minimal. Dr. Sheldon Segal, vice-president of the Population Council and a noted researcher in the field of reproduction, says that within five years several new developments will be tested and marketed if they prove safe and effective. He says these may include a male pill to arrest sperm production, removable clips or other devices to assure reversible vasectomies, and devices in the tubes carrying sperm from the testes that can immobilize or cripple sperm cells. For women, possible new contraceptives include devices implanted under the skin that can secrete antifertility agents for months, hormone-secreting intrauterine devices, and a monthly pill or suppository to bring on a menstrual cycle even if the woman recently became pregnant, in which case the pregnancy would end. Segal said in an interview that women also might see a monthly pill to suppress ovulation, a post-coital "morningafter" pill that can be used regularly, a pre-coital "nightbefore" pill, or a pill that can exactly regulate the menstrual cy- cle so the women can safely practice the rhythm method. Most of these possible contraceptives are refinements of existing methods, Segal says They do not represent the technological breakthroughs needed for the perfect contracep- tive of the future. -The Herald Family Home for alcoholic women suggested at CWL meeting An alcoholic rehabilitation centre for women and a train- ing centre for physically han- dicapped children were suggested as needs in Lethbridge and area at a Southern Alberta Catholic Women's League workshop held over the weekend Mrs. V. G. Heppler of Warner made the proposals saying that the rehabilitation centre could be modelled after Riverside Villa in Calgary which is a home for alcoholic women. "We seem to hide the fact that' there are women alcoholics in the area, and our group feels it's time something was done to help PUBLIC BINGO m 16 GAMES BLACKOUT (Played Until Won) LETHBRIDGE ELKS LODGE ROOM (Upstairs) EVERY THURS.-8 p.m. them." Mrs. Heppler said in an interview later. The facility, if started, would seek government help for funding and would provide a home atmosphere for those using it. Mrs. Heppler says it would be run in conjunction with ex- isting Alcoholics Anonymous branches, as well. The children's learning centre would take the place of one which is now operating in Edmonton, and which necessitates sending physically-handicapped youngsters away from their families. Forty-five regional members of the CWL from eight parishes in the Lethbridge area were in atten- dance at the convenor's workshop and scripture study held in St. Patrick's church hall The regional meeting was held to deal with matters of mutual civic or religious interest which affect all parish councils of the league. LOYAL ORDER OF MOOSE 1234-3rd Ave. North REGULAR WED. NIOHT BIHQO 8 P.M. 25 GAMES DOUBLE MONEY CARDS MANY EXTRAS This Week's Jackpot in 55 Numbers 5 CARDS CARDS PAY DOUBLE DOOR PRIZE Wo one under 16 years allowed to play1 In speaking on church life, the Calgary diocesan pres- ident, Mrs. Henry Scherer of Lethbridge, stressed the necessity of good Chris- tian conscience and good habits. She asked all members to participate in ecumenical activities which would work for better understanding of people of other faiths and emphasized co-operation in the world day of prayer and Christian unity week. Other speakers at the meeting included Calgary diocesan convenor of organization, Mrs. G. A. Thielen of Allerston; convenor of cultural life, Mrs. C. G. Bogdan of Lethbridge, speaking on leisure time ac- tivities Mrs. P. L. Alexander, Lethbridge regional CWL chairman on responsibility of communications and public relations, Anne Kirby, provin- cial CWL treasurer speaking on community life and Klaus Pohle, Herald news editor, who spoke on what constitutes news. Girls not as Lethbridge Fish Game Assoc. BINGO Wednesdty at 8 PJIL JACKPOT IN 51 NUMBERS 3 Jackpotm 4th 8th 10th in 7 Numbers GOLD CARDS PAY DOUBLE FREE CARDS EAGLES HALL, 13th STREET N. FREE No Children Under 16 LEGION BINGO EVERY WEDNESDAY at 8 P.M. S500 JACKPOT BLACKOUT IN 54 NUMBERS OR LESS (Increasing one number per week until won) ist GAME sso JACKPOT sth GAME 10th Game Jackpot in 49 Numbers FHH BUS SIMVICI HOMI BiMOO MEMORIAL HALL PUBLIC MEMBERS AND GUESTS NORMANDY LOUNGE CHILDREN UNDER 16 NOT ALLOWED Sponsored by Ladies' Auxiliary to Canadian Legion PRINCE ALBERT (CP) Four girls who were hired as firefighters by the department of northern Saskatchewan this summer and then given office jobs say they have been dis- criminated against by their employer. A spokesman for the four girls, who are resource students at the Kelsey In- stitute in Saskatoon, said the only time the girls were allow- ed to a fire scene was to bring sandwiches to firefighters. Crew boss Keith Gorham said he wouldn't hire girls as firefighters again because "they aren't as quick to catch on as men." He suggested their main interests were in such matters as wildlife and fisheries. The girls finish work at the fire control camp in two weeks to return to school. THE BETTER HALF By Barnes "I'm surprised this car wasn't made in Japan. You ap- peared to be on a kamikaze mission." HELP US TO HELP OTHERS! The Salvation Army Welfare Services Need Clothing, Furniture, Toys, Household Effects CALL 328-2860 FOR PICK-UP SERVICE or LEAVE AT 412 1st AVE. S. Back to sea Larry LeSage, curator of the Stanley Park Zoo, frees an 80-pound female harbor seal which has been at the park as a guest. The seal was brought to the zoo hospital three weeks ago after being hit by a boat and now is ready to return to its natural home. Youth of the United Church CO-ED CAMP WATERTON (CANYON CHURCH CAMP) AUG. 30th-SEPT. 2nd (15Yrs.andUp) Horseback riding, hiking, swimming, baseball, camp- fires, workshops, etc. All inclusive Sponsored by Chinook Cooperative Parish Register by phoning 327-3404 or 327-5294 Black heritage subject of book TORONTO (CP) When a Toronto woman set out to find historical black Canadian heroes with which her fourth- generation-Canadian children could identify, she found enough for a book. Rella Braithwaite is work- ing on a book about the arrival and settlement of the first Canadian black settlers and visiting libraries across Canada to research it. Mrs. Braithwaite is no new- comer to her field of study. She writes on black history for Africa Speaks, a newspaper for the Toronto black com- munity, and on current events for Contrast, periodical for blacks. She wrote a 60-minute historical script for CBC radio about the black settlers who came to Canada from the United States along the Underground Railroad, the network which helped runaway slaves escape to freedom. Mrs. Braithwaite became interested in black history in Canada after she saw her children re-enacting her own feelings as a teen-ager. "I was afraid we were los- ing our she said. It was her search for this identi- ty for herself and her children that led her to a book on Cana- dian black history. "Although there are certain differences in outlook between blacks who were born here and those who have recently immigrated from the West In- dies, all of our ancestors did come from Mrs. Braithwaite said. Mrs. Braithwaite has become more and more in- volved in Toronto's black community. In 1973, she was co-author of a booklet on prominent black Canadian women entitled Women of Our Times, published by the Cana- dian Negro Women's Asso- ciation. She also helped a Black Heritage group prepare a brief on Canadian blacks for government use during Heritage Ontario, a multi- cultural conference in 1972. More family news Page 23 They're New! They're Different They're... "DOWN TO EARTH" Joe GREEN'S SHOES DOWNTOWN ON SIXTH STREET Open Thursday til 9 p.m. for MEN and WOMEN MACLEODS Centre Village Mall Phone 329-0037 JAKE IT EASY KE IT TO SCHOOL! LLOYD'S CALCULATOR Eaty tits In any pocket. Automatic credit balance or negative nrmber. Percentage key. Multiplies 01 divides a series ot numbers by a constant without need to re-enter. Performs chain, mixed cal- culation. Direct squaring of CHARGE IT) MICROELECTRONIC CALCULATOR WITH MEMORY Truly pocket size. Automatic over- flow or error Indicator. Automatic credit balance or negative number. Percentage key. Separate memory bank. Chain and mixed calculations. Many more exciting features. Prices effective Wed., Aug. 28., Ill Sat., Aug. 31. S495!