31. 05. 12. - 14:43
Contraception museum celebrates fifth birthday
The Museum of Contraception and Abortion located in Vienna, Austria is celebrating its fifth birthday this year.
MUVS is the only museum in the world exclusively dedicated to contraception, pregnancy testing and abortion.
The Museum of Contraception and Abortion was founded in 2003 by gynaecologist Christian Fiala who said: "As a doctor I can only teach a limited number of people about how they can best manage their fertility. As a scientist and lecturer the number of people I can reach is slightly larger. However, only with a museum is it possible to bring knowledge about reliable contraception and medically safe abortion to the whole world,"
The museum was opened in March 2007 by the former Women’s Minister Johanna Dohnal. It is
located very close to Vienna’s Westbahnhof station, on the Mariahilfer Gürtel. The museum is funded through a charitable association and individual donations.
The museum displays a range of contraception options from historical to present day - there is also a large display on abortion over the ages.
The display includes some of the most curious contraception items as well as a large selection of tools which were used for abortions over the last 100 years.
There is everything from half pressed lemons which were used as contraception in the 18th Century or in the 20th Century Coca Cola was used as form of contraception for women to prevent pregnancy. In the 20th century sheep's intestines were still used to make condoms.
You can also delve into the curious pregnancy testing methods for example in Ancient Egypt women who suspected they were pregnant were given a mix of beer and dates if they then vomited they were pregnant according to the theory.
Up until the 1960's pregnancy tests were carried out with the help of frogs in Austria.
Women who thought they were pregnant had their urine injected into a frog. If the frog laid eggs within three hours then they were told they were pregnant. Visitors can watch a film showing this procedure.
A display also shows the past trend of back street kitchen abortions which women had to go through.
The goal of the museum is to provide scientifically accurate information about the past, present and future of contraception, pregnancy testing and abortion to every woman and every man. T
his should enable the "force of fertility" to be contained: under natural circumstances, a woman has an average of 15 pregnancies in her life. Of the resulting 10 births, seven children would historically have survived. For most people that is too many – for economic, social or other reasons. Limiting the number of children has therefore always been an important issue for every generation and across most cultures.
In 2011 the museum had over 20.000 visitors.