National Health Service (Family Planning) Act 1967

Colour photograph of birth control pills

With good family planning provision, it could no longer be assumed that women would marry, become pregnant, remain at home to bring up children, whilst husbands took on the role of sole breadwinner. Women could now plan their futures with more certainty and have choice about whether to remain in education, climb the corporate ladder and when to start a family.

Leonora Onaran


The National Health Service (Family Planning) Act 1967 was introduced into Anglo-Welsh law on 28 June 1967. This legislation was to have a transformative effect on the lives of many, and came into existence via a Private Members Bill sponsored by Labour MP Edwin Brooks. Its passage onto the statute books meant that women were, for the first time, regardless of their marital status, able to obtain contraceptive advice and services on the NHS.

The full version of this landmark is written by Leonora Onaran.


Learn More

BBC News, ‘How the Contraceptive Pill Changed Britain’

Parliament, ‘National Health Service (Family Planning) Act 1967’ (Living Heritage: Relationships

People’s History of the NHS, ‘Birth Control and the Contraceptive Pill on the NHS’