A so-called “permanent birth control” device in the form of two metal coils is continuing to maim women while pre-emption laws are protecting the manufacturer from all lawsuits.
LifeSiteNews.com has been covering the story of Essure, a sterilization device on the market since 2002 that has injured hundreds of women.
“Essure consists of two small metal coils inserted into a woman’s fallopian tubes, irritating them and producing a buildup of scar tissue that keeps eggs in the ovaries and blocks sperm from reaching them,” LifeSite reports. “Billed as a less invasive alternative to tubal ligation, the devices can be inserted during a regular doctor’s office visit, and unlike the pill, implants or the IUD, there are no hormones involved. The device does, however, slightly increase the risk of an ectopic, or ‘tubal’ pregnancy, which always results in the death of the baby and can be life-threatening for the mother.”
Five hundred women reported complications from the device to the FDA last year, which was the largest number since the device was introduced in 2002.
Word is getting out about the problem via Facebook where a new group, “Essure Problems”, already has 5,000 members with about 100 joining every week. The group describes itself as being “for women who have had the Essure procedure done, and are suffering or have suffered from side effects which may be attributed to Essure. We are also here to inform women who are considering having this procedure about the potential side effects which can result if you are adversely affected by Essure.”
The group was founded by Angie Firmalino, 41, who told the Chicago Tribune that she started the page after spending two years suffering with heavy periods, joint pain, cramps and other symptoms. Doctors eventually discovered that the coils had moved out of her fallopian tubes and embedded in her uterine wall.
“They sell Essure like a cruise, hand you a pamphlet like you’re going on vacation,” Firmalino told the paper.
Even though she had the coils removed, X-rays have shown that there are still several “foreign bodies” in her uterus and will now have to undergo a full hysterectomy.
“I don’t know if this will make it any better, but I’m debilitated by pain,” she said.
Unfortunately, Firmalino, and hundreds of other women like her, will get no help from Bayer to cover these costly bills.
“We CANNOT sue the manufacturer because Essure is classified as a class three device by the FDA and qualifies for preemption which bars law suits being brought against the manufacturer,” Firmalino’s Facebook page reports. “Until we change the law, no one can sue. With the help and support of Erin Brockovich, yes THAT Erin Brockovich, we are determined to fix this.”
Firmalino is referring to Erin Brockovich whose claim to fame came as a result of taking on the Pacific Gas and Electric Company that was polluting the environment, a story that became the subject of a hit movie starring Julia Roberts. Brockovich is now a consumer advocate who was appalled at the injuries being caused by Essure and the fact that Bayer is protected from all lawsuits.
As Brockovich told ABC News: “There’s something wrong with the device, in my opinion . . . women’s organs are being perforated … It’s ridiculous that at any level we try to defend this.”
Brockovich wants the device removed from the market and to see Bayer held accountable for the pain and suffering so many women have endured.
“Preemption is not about the Essure women – it affects all consumers,” Brockovich told ABC. “If someone had a medical device installed, there’s no recourse for victims, and the company is protected. If there’s a problem, the company gets a pass, because they have preemption. It dawned on me the consumer didn’t know. The women didn’t know that this existed.”
One of those women was Rachel Long, 34, of South Bend, Indiana who thought Essure would be a quick, easy, and cheap way to prevent future pregnancies.
“We thought hey, for $50 deductible and no down time, hey why not?” Long told ABC57. “They made it sound like this miracle thing.”
Within weeks of the insertion, she found herself experiencing a “deep, deep pain in my abdomen”. She made five trips to the emergency room in just three days. The pain only got worse and she was eventually forced to have a full hysterectomy. Her medical bills now total $8,000.
“It’s been a tremendous financial burden on my entire family,” Long said.
But she’s alive. There has been at least one death attributed to the device, according to a report by ABC 2 in Baltimore. The case involved a woman who went to the emergency room with pain sometime after having the coils inserted. Doctors discovered a raging infection throughout her reproductive organs with her cervix, fallopian tubes and uterus becoming necrotic, dead tissue. She eventually died of the infection.
How sad that warnings about the dangers associated with the use of so many birth control pills and devices are coming from women AFTER they have suffered irreparable harm from them. Shouldn’t this be coming from the government that agrees to shield manufacturers from liability while it promotes dangerous “family planning” products under the guise of caring about “women’s reproductive health”?
We can only hope that more women like Firmalino will take a stand against this gross injustice and join the real war on women that will finally put a stop to this decades-long abuse of our femininity!
Click here to download a free pamphlet explaining the “real war on women”.
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