Choosing to Test: Dr. A. P. Satterthwaite and the First Birth Control Pill Clinical Trials in Humacao, Puerto Rico
How did Adaline Pendleton Satterthwaite, an obstetrician-gynecologist (OB-GYN) working at a Protestant mission hospital in Puerto Rico, become one of the key architects of the first birth control pill? In 1952, Satterthwaite left the continental United States and went to Puerto Rico to work as an OB-GYN at Ryder Memorial Hospital in Humacao. She continued her work there through the early 1960s, but in 1957 she took on an additional job as Director of Family Planning Clinic and Research in Contraceptive Methods. In this capacity, Satterthwaite oversaw clinical trials of G.D. Searle & Co.’s Enovid, the first Food and Drug Administration approved oral contraceptive. This talk will examine Satterthwaite’s personal and professional reasons for bringing the trials to Humacao, Puerto Rico and demonstrate her central, if understudied, role in the development of Enovid.
Join us for Kathryn Lankford’s lecture on Wednesday, October 19, 2016 from noon till 1 pm in person or online.
Kathryn Lankford is a doctoral student in the Department of History at Michigan State University. She is broadly interested in the histories of medicine and science, gender and sexuality, and empire in the United States and Latin America. Specifically, Kathryn’s current research examines clinical trials of contraceptives in Puerto Rico during the mid-twentieth century. Before entering the PhD program in history at MSU, she received a B.S. in Biology from the University of West Georgia.
In person: This lecture will take place in C102 East Fee Hall on MSU’s East Lansing campus. Feel free to bring your lunch! Beverages and light snacks will be provided.
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