Birth control encompasses a variety of methods designed to prevent pregnancy. Historical records dating back to 1550 b.c.e detail attempts to control fertility, which suggests that preventing conception and controlling population has been a prevalent and continuing issue facing individuals and societies for thousands of years. However, birth control has been the subject of controversy both in ancient and in modern times. Religious leaders in Jewish, Christian, and Muslim faiths have debated the morality of contraception. Additionally, the focus on population control in the latter part of the 20th century expands the morally and ethically charged birth control debate. Issues regarding involuntary sterilizations and state-controlled reproduction, such as China's one-child policy that began in 1979, continue to be matters of public concern.

A variety of methods ...

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