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Birth Control

  1. Rebecca Bennett

Published Online: 1 FEB 2013

DOI: 10.1002/9781444367072.wbiee654

The International Encyclopedia of Ethics

How to Cite

Bennett, R. 2013. Birth Control. The International Encyclopedia of Ethics. .

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 FEB 2013


“Birth control” is a term that covers a number of different drugs, devices, and procedures that aim to allow individuals to control their fertility and prevent unwanted pregnancies and births. As such this term covers all contraceptives, including barrier methods such as the male and female condom and the diaphragm and drugs taken to prevent conception (the contraceptive pill and longer-acting drugs administered as implants or injections). Sterilization, another form of birth control, is a medical procedure that aims to prevent pregnancy occurring either by closing the fallopian tubes (in women) or by cutting and closing the vas deferens (in men). Other birth control methods aim to end or prevent gestation rather than prevent conception. These methods include intrauterine devices, the morning-after pill, and abortion (see Abortion).


  • ethics;
  • normative ethics;
  • philosophy;
  • practical (applied) ethics;
  • bioethics