Commentary by Susan Brinkmann, OCDS
Funny how reproductive issues are always described as a private matter between a woman and her doctor until it comes time to pay the bill – then it’s always a very public matter.
So it should come as no surprise that liberals pols and pundits are demanding that taxpaying citizens pay for a woman’s “choice” to use contraceptives, only this time they’re using one of the most specious arguments of all time – because they’re so important for women’s health.
Since when? Have these gals ever read the (unbiased) research on the pills, injections and surgical procedures they think are so good for women?
Let’s start with the pill. True, it’s prescribed for a variety of medical reasons other than for contraception, such as to treat ovarian cysts, endometriosis and heavy menstrual bleeding. But what the pols don’t dare tell you is that there are plenty of natural methods of relieving the very same symptoms, and even of curing the root problems. Not only are these methods less costly and more effective, they don’t come with the multitude of health risks associated with the pill.
Allow me to list a few:
The estrogen-progesterone combination contained in the pill and hormone replacement therapies was declared a Class 1 carcinogen by the World Health Organization in 2005. All Class 1 carcinogens have been found to cause cancer in both lab and human studies. This means the ingredients in the pill are now listed in the same category as arsenic, asbestos, radium and tobacco smoke. How healthy is that?
You’ll also want to remember that hormone replacement therapy, which contains lower doses of the same ingredients as the pill, is now rarely prescribed because of the dangers – but the pill remains in widespread use.
Many like to point out that even though the pill is a carcinogen, it has been found to offer protection for certain types of cancers, such as ovarian and uterine. This is true, but the pill is also known to cause cancers, such as breast, cervical and liver cancers. So I guess you could say taking the pill is a lot like a crap shoot when it comes to cancer.
But this is just the tip of the iceburg when it comes to the serious health risks associated with birth control pills. Here are a few others.
According to the American Journal of Gastroenterology, women who use the pill are one and a half times more likely to develop Cohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis than women who have not used the pill.
The British Medical Journal revealed that the pill increases a woman’s risk of developing cerebrovascular disease (brain dysfunction related to disease of blood vessels which can cause strokes) by 1.9 times. A 25 year follow-up study with 46,000 British women also noted that the enhanced risk of death lasts for 10 years after women have stopped taking the pill.
This is because the combination of hormones found in the pill increases the blood’s capability to clot, which means anyone who takes the pill is at increased risk of developing a blood clot (known as thrombosis). At particular risk are women who are overweight, sedentary, frequently take long plane flights, injure a leg, has had recent surgery, smokes, has a family history of blood clots, has high blood pressure (over 160/100mg) or suffers from migraines. I don’t know about you, but this list covers just about 80 percent of the women I know.
Oral contraceptives also put women at risk for atherosclerosis. One study found that each 10 year use of the pill was associated with a 42 percent increase in hardening of the arteries of the neck and a 34 percent increased risk in the leg.
Researchers have also found that migraine headaches are 40 percent more common in women who take oral contraceptives. They believe this could be due to the fact that the pill can boost estrogen levels up to four-fold above normal, resulting in a particularly steep estrogen drop-off with menstruation. Non-migraine headaches are 20 percent more common in women who take the pill.
This short list of medical problems associated with the pill should not be taken lightly because it reveals an underlying danger that all women face who pump their bodies full of synthetic hormones.
“Oral contraceptives totally disrupt the normal hormonal cascade,” explains the well-known Dr. David Brownstein. “When the hormonal system is disrupted, cardiovascular disease, cancer, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome and other serious illnesses will increase. My clinical experience has clearly shown that it is impossible to adequately treat these illnesses if there is an imbalanced hormonal system. I do not recommend the use of oral contraceptives for any reason.”
He does not issue these warnings lightly. For example, as of February, 2011, over 1,100 lawsuits have been filed against Bayer Health Care, the distributors of trendy new pills known as Yaz and Yasmin, because of health complications, including deep vein thrombosis strokes, heart attacks and gallbladder disease. As of July 2010, 50 women have died as a result of using these pills.
Keep in mind, this is just the oral contraceptives that religious employers are supposed to provide for the sake of “women’s health”. They’re also required to pay for contraceptives delivered by other means, such as the Ortho-Evra patch. This is a patch worn on the skin that delivers the same hormonal cocktail found in oral contraceptives, but in higher doses. A 2004 study conducted by the FDA revealed that Ortho Evra caused a 300 percent increase of blood clot-related incidents causing strokes, heart attacks and pulmonary embolisms compared to women who used oral contraceptives. Patch users were also found to be three times more likely to die from these complications. Since its introduction in 2002, 23 women have died, and numerous lawsuits are currently pending against the manufacturer, Ortho McNeill Pharmaceuticals.
Injectable contraceptives such as Depo-Privera are also on the list of mandated coverage. This “healthy” contraceptive comes with a black box warning stating that prolonged use of the drug may result in significant loss of bone density. The loss is greater the longer the drug is administered – and it may not be completely reversible after discontinuation of the drug.
The morning-after-pill, or Plan B, must also be provided free-of-charge to women. Plan B contains the same hormones that are found in normal oral contraceptives, but the dosage is 10 times higher.
What about sterilization? Surely there are no risks for a woman to have her tubes tied. Think again. The Centers for Disease Control found an increased risk of ectopic pregnancy after tubal sterilization in women, particularly in women who are sterilized before the age of 30. Ectopic pregnancy, which occurs when a fertilized egg implants outside the uterus, is responsible for nine percent of all deaths related to pregnancy. Other side effects of tubal ligation include changes in blood supply to the ovaries, causing cramping, heavy bleeding, and PMS, and it lowers progesterone levels.
That most women are completely unaware of these risks is one of the greatest problems associated with contraceptives, particularly the pill. Lack of informed consent about risks and side effects has been a problem since the advent of the pill. It was not until Barbara Seaman, a medical journalist during the 1960s, wrote the 1969 groundbreaking book The Doctor’s Case Against the Pill to expose the information that the FDA began to require that PPIs (patient package inserts) be included with the pill in order to inform women of the dangers.
Keep in mind that these are only the physical dangers of contraception. Consider the social and emotional fallout to society that has occurred since the advent of the pill and its effects of separating sexual intercourse from procreation. It has been found to weaken the institution of marriage by encouraging “hooking up”, cohabitation, adultery and serial monogamy. These relationships in turn lead to divorce, unexpected pregnancy, abortion, single parent households, abuse, and poverty – all of which take an enormous toll upon the emotional and economic health of women as well as the nation in general.
Why, even the co-inventor of the pill, Carl Djerassi, has admitted that widespread use of the pill brought about a “demographic catastropher” around the world.
And let’s not forget the sickening abuses being suffered by women around the world where governments are forcing them to contracept in order to limit the number of births, such as China’s draconian one-child-only family planning policy.
It’s hard to believe that the very feminists who are supposed to be championing women’s rights are the same people responsible for obfuscating these life-or-death facts behind the mantra of “women’s health.”
As author Mary Nichols says in the Feb. 12 issue of American Thinker, “One wonders if feminists are victims of their own ideology (and that of Big Pharma).”
They obviously are, but that doesn’t mean we have to join them.
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