The birth control pill was available on prescription in Ireland from 1963 and was marketed as a cycle regulator and, as Mary E. Daly argued, „played a crucial role in opening a debate on contraception.“ 19 Contraceptive pill users could circumvent the contraceptive ban in Ireland by requesting the pill as a regulator of the cycle and not as a contraceptive. In Spain, where contraception was banned until 1978, the contraceptive pill was marketed as an „oral cycle regulator“ or as an „ovulostic,“ and in the 1970s, marketing materials and package inserts continued to inform patients that these drugs „should be used to allow `periodic rest of the ovaries.` 20 The situation is similar in Ireland. For example, in a 1967 issue of the Journal of the Irish Medical Association, an advertisement for the oral contraceptive Lyndiol 2.5 advertised the drug „for a menstrual cycle as regular as the clock“ and pointed out that „the use of a combined estrogen/progestin tablet is now generally accepted as the most appropriate method of treatment.“ 21 The advertisement shows a woman`s hand with a watch; The woman wears a wedding ring. As Elizabeth Siegel Watkins showed, in the mid-1960s, the use of birth control pills and other contraceptive methods by single women was frowned upon „because it correctly implied not only that these women were having sex, but also that they were planning ahead.“ 22 In the United Kingdom too, the prescription of the contraceptive pill to single women was refused and, during the first years of its introduction in the United Kingdom, the contraceptive pill was limited to married women. Family planning associations offered contraception only to married or committed women, while the 118 state-funded local clinics restricted the provision of contraceptives to married women who needed them for „medical reasons,“ while many general practitioners felt that contraception should not be part of their medical practice. 23 In addition, family physicians who offer contraceptives prescribe these women, who are generally not single. However, some women have found ways around this problem by seeing a sympathetic GP or lying about their marital status. 24 From the 1960s onwards, this practice was part of a broader context of increasing patient autonomy and consumerism.

25 From 1964 onwards, single women in Britain had access to birth control pills through the Brook Clinics. 26 In 1968, the Family Planning Association authorized its branches to prescribe the pill to single women; Their branches were forced to do so from 1970. 27 I certainly don`t want any more children; I`ve had enough. My doctor promised to put me on the pill, and I will have no qualms about using it at all. People can preach as much as they want about what the pope said in the encyclical and so on, but how do you take care of your large family when the man is unemployed and the bills are going up? 4 This article examines Irish campaigns for access to condoms in the early 1990s. In the context of the AIDS crisis, activists campaigned against a law that would not allow condoms to be sold in ordinary commercial premises or vending machines and would limit their sale to young people. By evoking a concept of „transformative illegality“, we show that illegal action was fundamental to the eventual legalization of the commercial sale of condoms. However, rather than prioritizing the illegal sale of condoms as a kind of spectacular direct action, we show that the tactic of illegal selling in the 1990s was based on 20 years of daily illicit sales within the Irish family planning movement. Daily illegal selling was a long-term world-creating practice that gradually changed the legal meaning of condoms and eventually allowed for new forms of provocative and disrespectful protest. Condoms „became legal“ when the state recognized the types of condom sales that have been gradually accumulated over the years and released in direct action and in court. The possession and use of contraceptives and pills were not prohibited. From 1935, however, it was illegal to sell or import them.

[3] Meanwhile, a loophole was used when a device such as a condom could not be „offered for sale“ but a citizen could be „asked to buy it.“ People also donated to family planning associations to receive contraception as a „gift.“ The reality for almost the entire population was that contraception was not possible. Few outlets wanted to stock a product that could attract the attention of the police or the public. My study will provide insight into Irish citizens` experiences and attitudes towards birth control, assess how they have been shaped by Ireland`s social and cultural context, while shedding light on related aspects of everyday life such as sexuality and marriage. The stories of activists who supported the legalization of contraception and those who opposed it, as well as those who were prosecuted for illegally importing and selling contraceptives and who have received little attention from scientists so far, will also be examined. Happy to say that we did a press conference at the Virgin Megastore after, and there was a huge publicity as if it was something that jumped around the world, how we were treated in Australia, it was mentioned in the United States of America, on TV on Good Morning America, It was all over the newspapers. […] You know, I`ve heard that the people at the State Department weren`t very happy when the various embassies around the world said, „Oh my God, there`s another thing that the Irish are as backward as these condom laws,“ but that was part of our goal: to let people know what the law was (JOB, Youth Officer and Press Officer, IFPA, interview with Máiréad Enright via Skype, 19 March 2014). It is clear that the contraceptive pill has become an important symbol of family planning in debates over the legalization of contraception. Although there has been some research on the role of politicians and the medical profession in family planning debates, less attention has been paid to the importance of contraceptive activists and the importance of feminist groups in these debates in the mid-1970s. 89 Through a review of the literature of these groups and oral interviews with former members, I try to show how the contraceptive pill became a major focus of their campaigns.

Although the two groups have different views on the legalization of contraception, the side effects of the birth control pill have been a major focus for members on both sides of the debate. Illegality requires both the establishment of the new identity of condoms over the years and the definitive change in their relationship with the law.