According to pro-life activist Jill Stanek, RN, evidence that Planned Parenthood is soft-pedaling the dangers of Nuva Ring to its patients can be found in an article entitled "Dangers in the Ring" by Marie Brenner and published by Vanity Fair.
In her article, Brenner documents the hazards of the device, which contains a particularly dangerous type of progestin known as desogestrel. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is aware of the problems and concluded in 2011 that Nuva Ring increases the risk of blood clots by 56 percent and carry a 90 percent greater risk of clots than birth control pills that contain an earlier form of progestin.
Part of Brenner's research was to send two college students into a Planned Parenthood clinic to inquire about using Nuva Ring.
"At a clinic it operates in Brooklyn, one student mentioned to the attending nurse practitioner that she had Googled NuvaRing and was aware of the lawsuits alleging that it can cause blood clots. 'I have a history of heart disease and diabetes in my family,' she said. 'You yourself have a history of heart disease?' the nurse practitioner asked. 'No, but my father has it. And my mother has type 2 diabetes'.
"Both facts were indicators of potential problems, but the nurse practitioner did not seem to be alarmed. 'Then no. NuvaRing is safe for healthy young women…. Of course, with all birth-control methods, there are side effects…. new yo [sic] You seem a good candidate. Would you like to try it?'”
Brenner notes that when asked to comment, Planned Parenthood refused, saying that it "does not publicly discuss private patient matters." However, it does actively promote the drug to women.
Unfortunately, more than a thousand women are now suing Merck, the manufacturer of Nuva Ring, including the parents of Erika Langhart, a 24 year-old women who died on Thanksgiving Day, 2011, after suffering a massive pulmonary embolism which was caused by Nuva Ring.
Erika's shocked mother, Karen, began to research the product and studied the history of lawsuits filed against Johnson & Johnson for its deadly Ortho Evra patch and Bayer's oral contraceptives Yasmin and Yaz. She told Brenner that while her daughter was on life support in the hospital, she spoke with numerous nurses, doctors, and neurosurgeons and said that "each and every one of them had personal and professional stories to tell about birth control and pulmonary embolisms.”
And yet this product - and all of the others mentioned - are still on the market and being dispensed by Planned Parenthood clinics which claim to be "looking out for women's health"!
Meanwhile, on February 14, Merck offered a $100 million settlement to resolve 3,800 lawsuits against its birth control products. According to the agreement, 95 percent of the plaintiffs have to agree to Merck's terms, which include exonerating them from any blame.
As Stanek reports, even if 95 percent agree, the remaining 5 percent can still sue - and Erica Langhart’s parents will be in that group.
As Karen said, "We would rather, quite frankly, die than take blood money from Merck."
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