Birth Control Archive

September-August 2007: Birth Control / EC / Plan B

Prescription for Strong Bones: Drink Your Milk and Stay Off the Pill

Woman Dies from Blood Clot

Plan B Sales 

FDA Sued Over Unlawful Approval of Morning-After Pill / Plan B

Abortion Numbers in Scotland Rise Again Despite [Because of…?] OTC Morning After Pill/ EC

Washington Pharmacists Sue State Over Forcing Sales of Morning After Pill / Emergency Contraception…

PRESCRIPTION FOR STRONG BONES: DRINK YOUR MILK AND STAY OFF THE PILL. A recent study of female military cadets shows that the Pill and cessation of menstrual periods both decrease bone density during critical years.

This side effect could have long-lasting results because women reach their peak bone mass by age 25. The oral contraceptive Lybrel, now available in the United States, also stops monthly periods entirely in most cases.

Nutrition and exercise were protective factors.
(Source: “Oral contraceptives, other factors reduce bone mass,” Reuters, 08-24-07, http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSCOL46695420070824)
[Reuters, 24Aug07; Abstinence Clearinghouse E-Mail Update, 8/29/2007]

 

 

 

BIRTH CONTROL PILL CREATES CLOT AFFECTING WOMAN'S DEATH. An Irish woman has died of a blood clot after taking the birth control pill for several years. Her family and an investigating doctor have publicly attributed her death to the use of the contraceptive.

On March 22 of last year, 31-year-old Julie Hennessy was found dead on the floor of her living room, Ireland Independent reports. Although she was a non-smoker of healthy weight, the woman had been taking the drug Mercilon for a number of years.

This resulted in her developing deep vein thrombosis (DVT), a condition in which a blood clot forms in a deep vein-usually in one of the appendages. As in the case of Miss Hennessy, a DVT can break off and lodge in the lungs, causing death.After her inquest on Tuesday, Julie's father Ray, speaking on behalf of his family-his wife Angela and their two daughters-drew special attention to the fact that the pill was the main factor in the death of his daughter."The Pill was the major cause of our daughter's death and we want to put it on record that other young women should be aware of these dangers," said Mr. Hennessy.

"Doctors are aware of the risks but I want to warn young women of the possible consequences of taking it. I wouldn't like this to happen to another family."Speaking before the Dublin County Coroner's Court, pathologist Peter Szontagh-Kishazi emphasized that the contraceptive pill had caused Julie Hennessy's DVT. "The only important factor was the oral contraceptive pill," he said."Clotting is a well-known risk of using the contraceptive pill. There is no other medication that has such a big risk as the oral contraceptive pill," said Dr Szontagh-Kishazi."

Some investigators attempted to blame the condition on the air travel that Julie went on for her work. Nevertheless, Szontagh-Kishazi said that although flying, especially economy class, has caused blood clots before, this was not the reason for her death because in such a case the clot would have happened in the plane. In this case, her condition was "a recent complication".Blood clotting is only one of the many medical risks of taking the contraceptive pill.

According to noted endocrinologist (hormone doctor) Dr. Maria Kraw, studies have shown that taking oral contraceptives increases a woman's risk of breast cancer by 24%.

Hormonal contraceptives also make the body much more susceptible to the Sexually Transmitted Infection (STI) known as the human pampilloma virus (HPV).

Other STI's such as HPV, Gonorrhea, Chlamydia, Chancroid and Syphilis are also more common in people who take the pill. In addition, the pill has been known to cause osteoporosis and reduce milk production in lactating mothers

(Read full report on talk by Dr. Maria Kraw: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/aug/07080903.html).Studies have also shown that the pill likely causes a decreased sex-drive, and one particular report showed that the drug raises the risk of heart attack by 100% (Read http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/jul/05071207.html). In addition, the birth control pill has been proved to cause frequent medical abortions by making the wall of a woman's uterus hostile to a newly conceived person. The resulting condition in the womb can cause problems later on when the woman wants to conceive a child.

In fact, women who take birth control have a 26% lower fertility rate (Read full report on talk by Dr. Maria Kraw: http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2007/aug/07080303.html). Referring to trial runs of the pill in Latin America, Kraw stated, "They started off using ten times the amount of estrogen – 'We're really going to shut down that brain' – Well, what happened? Women died in the first phase trial of these medications, but they were in Puerto Rico so, (the attitude was) 'well…. we didn't really have medical ethics, so we'll just keep going and trying.'"These risks are present, however, even in the regular, low-dose contraceptive pill.

As Kraw pointed out, "The problem is that this (death) is still occurring even as the dose of estrogen has lowered itself to only about 4 times with the low-dose pills."Related:Birth Control Pill May Permanently Reduce Sex Drive Study Findshttp://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/may/05052603.htmlBirth Control Pill May Cause Prostate Cancer and Bladder Disease in Mothers' Childrenhttp://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2005/may/05050411.html [17August2007,  Elizabeth O'Brien, Dublin, LifeSiteNews.com]

 

 

PLAN B. Plan B, a high-dose birth control pill formerly available only by prescription, has doubled in sales since its approval last year on a non-prescription basis for older teens and adults. The pill is designed for use within 72 hours of sexual contact to prevent or end a pregnancy.

Planned Parenthood, while still pushing for availability for females of any age, expressed pleasure that women are making the drug “part of their mainstream reproductive health care.”

Others, more concerned with adolescents and young women’s total health—physical, mental, and emotional—than merely adding another contraceptive to their handbags, worry that their fears of abuse are coming true. No figures are available, for example, concerning purchasing by adults for minors or frequent repeated use, both of which pose serious medical risks.

(Source: “Morning-after pill sales jump as U.S. access eases,” Reuters, 08-24-07, http://www.reuters.com/article/healthNews/idUSN1527542420070824?pageNumber=1)
[Abstinence Clearinghouse E-Mail Update, 8/29/2007]

 

 

FDA SUED OVER UNLAWFUL APPROVAL OF MAP / Plan B: Coalition of medical professionals and family groups ask court to reverse FDA's decision. A lawsuit was filed April 12 in Federal Court seeking to overturn the Food and Drug Administration's (FDA) unprecedented approval of the morning-after pill, Plan B, as both non-prescription and prescription based on the age of the buyer.
 
The lawsuit was brought by the American Association of Physicians and Surgeons (AAPS), Concerned Women for America (CWA), Family Research Council (FRC) and Safe Drugs for Women. The suit argues that the FDA committed numerous violations to approve the drug due to extreme political pressure exerted specifically by Senators Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and Patty Murray (D-WA).
 
CWA President Wendy Wright said, "The FDA buckled to pressure to do something it has never done before – make a high dose of a drug available without a prescription when a low dose of the same drug requires a prescription. The agency skirted laws and regulations put in place to ensure drugs are safe and effective, relenting under undue pressure from political operatives."
 
The lawsuit makes the case that:
 
– The data submitted by Plan B's owner did not establish that it is safe or effective. The owner did not test the effects of taking a high dose of hormones during puberty. The FDA did not consider the safety effects on women of all ages, missing medical checkups and counseling that is necessary for the conditions in which Plan B is used. It misleads consumers regarding Plan B's efficacy, leading to unintended pregnancies.
 
– The trials to test how well consumers understood the label directions showed that consumers do not understand it well enough to self-medicate with Plan B. Fully one-third of women of all ages did not understand that Plan B cannot be used as a regular form of birth control. The label is misleading and does not provide the legally required disclaimers to delineate what it can and cannot do. This makes Plan B particularly unsafe for young women and girls because they do not understand that Plan B does not replace traditional and more effective birth control, and they may take it too often.
 
– The FDA lacks authority to approve the same drug for both over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription-only distribution.
 
– The FDA lacks authority to approve distribution based on the buyer's age.
 
– The FDA lacks authority to approve "behind-the- counter" – a drug that is neither fully OTC nor prescription only.
 
– The FDA approved Plan B for non-prescription use without conducting the necessary rulemaking required by the Administrative Procedure Act and the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act.
 
– The sudden reversal by FDA and Commissioner von Eschenbach had the distinct appearance of resulting from improper political pressure exerted by Senators Clinton and Murray who made clear that they put "holds" on von Eschenbach's confirmation until he acted on Plan B.
 
– The FDA's approval ensures that girls will have unsupervised access to Plan B even though FDA has found that Plan B is unsafe for girls without medical supervision, as denoted by the fact it is prescription- only for those under 18.
 
– The FDA failed to require Plan B's owner to comply with the Pediatric Research Equity Act which protects children and adolescents.
This lawsuit seeks to reverse the FDA's decision, placing Plan B back where it belongs: as prescription- only. Barring that, the suit seeks to require a rulemaking procedure to address the legal questions raised. [16April07, DC, LifeSiteNews.com]

 

ABORTION NUMBERS IN SCOTLAND RISE AGAIN DESPITE OTC MORNING AFTER PILL.  Abortion advocates there claimed the policy move would reduce abortion rates, but the new figures reveal the number of abortions done there has increased twice since it was adopted. The Scotland government reported 13,081 abortions in 2006, up from 12,603 the previous year — an increase of nearly 3.8 percent.

The figures represent an all-time high for the number of abortions done in that part of Great Britain since abortion was legalized in 1967.

Teenagers between the ages of 16 and 19 and young women aged 20-24 account for about 48 percent of all abortions done there while older women have lower abortion rates.

Some of the other figures the new government abortion numbers revealed include a figure of 67.3 percent for the number of early-term abortions done. In 1992 55.8 percent of the abortions were done before 11 weeks, so the number is on the rise.

The government reported that the abortion rate is higher in the NHS Tayside area compared to the Lothian and Greater Glasgow figures. The islands (Orkney, Shetland and Western Isles) had the lowest abortion rates of any region in Scotland.

The new data also shows that the reliance on the dangerous RU 486 abortion drug is also increasing as 59.1 percent of abortions were done with the abortion pill in 2006, up from 16.4 percent when it was first introduced in 1992.

The drug has already killed two British women and is responsible for killing 12 women worldwide and injuring more than 1,100 women in the United States alone.

About 200,000 women have abortions annually in Britain. [29May07, Ertelt, LifeNews.com, Glasgow, Scotland]

 

WASHINGTON PHARMACISTS SUE STATE OVER FORCING SALES OF MORNING AFTER PILL. Pharmacists in Washington are suing the state government over a rule slated to go into effect on Thursday forcing them to dispense the morning after pill. The medical professionals say the law forces them into "choosing between their livelihoods and their deeply held religious and moral beliefs."
In April, the Washington state pharmacy board approved new rules that require pharmacists to fill all legal prescriptions for drugs.

The rule would apply even if the pharmacist objects to the drug on the grounds that it could cause an abortion or for other moral or religious reasons.

The state board approved the new rules on a unanimous vote saying that pharmacists can't get in the way of a patient's "righ

t" to a prescription.

But pharmacists Rhonda Mesler and Margo Thelen and Stormans Inc., which owns the Ralph's Thriftway pharmacy in Olympia, filed a lawsuit against the new rule. They don't want to have to hand out the Plan B drug because it can cause an abortion in limited circumstances.

The new rules allow pharmacists to opt out of dispensing the drug, but only if a colleague is available at the pharmacy at the time the customer wants the drug. Pharmacy owners are not given an option to exercise their rights.

Instead, they must order the drug if they do not have any of it on hand at the time a customer requests it.

The lawsuit comes after a new survey showing majority of Americans believe pharmacists should be given a conscience clause to protect their moral and religious views.

The Baraga Interactive polling firm conducted the survey for Pharmacists for Life International and found that a majority of Americans favor optional coverage of so-called "birth control," and favor pharmacists being able to enjoy freedom of conscience when to not fill or counsel for drugs.

Sixty-one percent support no health insurance covering treatments such as so-called "birth-control pills," and 65 percent support a pharmacist's right to decline to fill or counsel for prescription drugs which may violate their sincerely held religious, moral and ethical beliefs.

Pharmacists for Life said laws like those in Washington are “essentially lowering the cognitive services of pharmacists to the level of fancy order takers.”

The Associated Press said pro-abortion Gov. Chris Gregoire did not return a request for comment.

The rule is a compromise worked out after Gregoire threatened to remove members of the pharmacy board after they initially proposed ruled with a more expansive conscience clause.

The debate over the rules came about after pharmacists objected to filling prescriptions for the morning after pill. Since then, the FDA approved over the counter status allowing non-prescription sales to anyone over the age of 18.

Pro-life groups have objected to the FDA decision saying it would lead to risky sex, pointing out the drug doesn't reduce abortion or pregnancy rates, and saying that men who sexually abuse young women could buy the drug to cover up their actions.

Other polls also confirm that Americans support pharmacists over mandatory laws like those in Washington.

A 2005 Medscape poll found 69 percent support a pharmacists’ conscience clause.

California and Illinois have laws similar to those in Washington while Arkansas, Georgia, South Dakota and Mississippi have laws that support the pharmacist's right to opt out of dispensing drugs that violate their moral or religious views. [26July07, Ertelt, LifeNews.com, Olympia, WA]