Pro-lifers are commonly criticized for not getting behind contraception initiatives. While personally, I have no religious opposition to the use of contraception, the claim that it is the salve to high unintended pregnancy statistics irks me. Aside for the fact that 54% of abortion seekers claim to have been using some form of contraception at the moment of conception, hormonal birth-control methods especially come with their fair share of dark, shadowy problems. Here’s one example:
For years, Johnson & Johnson obscured evidence that its popular Ortho Evra birth control patch delivered much more estrogen than standard birth control pills, potentially increasing the risk of blood clots and strokes…
But because the Food and Drug Administration approved the patch, the company is arguing in court that it cannot be sued by women who claim that they were injured by the product — even though its old label inaccurately described the amount of estrogen it released…
More than 3,000 women and their families have sued Johnson & Johnson, asserting that users of the Ortho Evra patch suffered heart attacks, strokes and, in 40 cases, death. From 2002 to 2006, the food and drug agency received reports of at least 50 deaths associated with the drug…
The F.D.A. did not warn the public of the potential risks until November 2005 — six years after the company’s own study showed the high estrogen releases.
Pro-abortion feminists are all too eager to talk about the sexual freedom these hormonal infusions provide. I guess I’m the sort of feminist who would rather think about a woman’s overall best interests in matters of health and well-being. So sue me.
UPDATE, mid-afternoon: After reading this article again, I decided to call a friend of mine who is on the patch. We had recently been discussing the role of birth control in her life and relationship.
“You’re kidding!” she gasped, “and it was going so well with the patch, I thought.” Like many women, she’d struggled in the past with many forms of contraception with mediocre to very unfavorable results; weight gain, acne, allergies, cramping, decreased libido, you name it.
Her stunned silence was followed by, “But I can’t get pregnant now. I have no choice.”
Ah, the ‘freedom’ of hormonal contraception. Ain’t it grand!
Brigitte wonders: You know what I don’t get? Is the number of women who are extremely careful about what they eat, who spend small fortunes on organic, “chemical-free” food and whatnot (as though all chemicals were bad – we’d sure look funny without H2O…), but who don’t hesitate one-third of a second before pumping their bodies full of hormones.