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The Unintended Consequences of Oral Contraception

Plan B One-Step Is Abortifacient

Abortifacient Mifepristone (original name RU 486) To Be Approved in Italy

Bayer Sued Over Safety of Popular Birth Control Pills

Withdrawal Method Finds Ally (Note Failure Rates of Condoms in this Article)

Hologic Gets FDA Approval for Birth-Control System

Study Shows Teen Contraception Use Declining, Level of Sexual Activity Unchanged

Peruvian Government Shelves Investigation into Massive Forced Sterilizations of Indigenous Women

Scotland Figures Show Sexually Transmitted Diseases Up Despite Plan B Promotion

Contraceptive Pill Limits Lean Muscle Mass Gain from Exercise: Study

Plan B for Minors: A Bad Prescription

Group Challenges Federal Order to Sell Morning After Pill to Minor Girls

Condom Facts —…    

Joel Brind, MD, explains in this article the actual classification of birth control hormones as steroids and the likely damage they wreak on breast tissue, the environment, other species, and human fertility:

“But few in the general public are aware that oral contraceptives ("the Pill"), levonorgestrel ("the morning-after pill"), and mifepristone, or RU-486 ("the abortion pill"), are also all steroids.

"In fact, they are the same sort of synthetic anabolic steroids that are illegal for professional athletes to take, but they are anabolic for female tissues (like breast tissue) rather than muscle…

"In 2006, the World Health Organization acknowledged that the estrogen-plus-progestin drugs (birth control pills and combination hormone replacement drugs like Prem-Pro) cause cancers in the breast, cervix, and liver.”
[JUL 15, 2009, Abstinence Clearinghouse Email Update;



American Life League’s director of The Pill Kills project issued the following statement on Plan B One-Step, an abortifacient so-called emergency "contraceptive" newly approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:

“Planned Parenthood and the birth control industry would have you believe Plan B One-Step cannot cause an abortion. That is a lie.

“In 1965, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists issued a Terminology Bulletin that ‘officially’ changed the definition of “conception” from the union of sperm and egg to implantation. As a result, the medical establishment does not call the killing of a human being prior to implantation an abortion. But that is just semantics.

“Plan B One-Step works like any other abortifacient drug: It can alter (thin) the lining (endometrium) of the mother’s uterus so that the newly-formed baby cannot implant and thus dies. Plan B One-Step’s product information itself states, “It may inhibit implantation (by altering the endometrium).”     Direct abortion is the willful ending of a preborn human being’s life. Plan B One-Step is thus a direct abortion method.

[Women should not allow themselves to be misled by sales representatives (such as some health professionals and the abortoholic group Planned Barrenhood) for Plan B and Plan B One-Step, who claim that these products will not terminate an existing pregnancy.]

“Unfortunately, the birth control industry and Planned Parenthood – the nation’s largest abortion chain – have tricked many women into aborting their tiny children. Plan B One-Step, Plan B, the birth control pill, IUD and other hormonal birth control products can all cause abortions. Period.

“So, the next time you hear that Plan B or Plan B One-Step cannot cause an abortion, you will know the truth. Plan B products kill.”

[Teva, which bought out Plan B manufacturer Barr Labs earlier this year,  will be phasing out the two-pill form of Plan B over the next several months, Pharmacist's Letter reported in its July issue.]

American Life League: The Pill Kills
Washington, DC; 30 July 2009]

Plan B One-Step: Product Information

Newsweek: Preventing Pregnancy 'One-Step' Easier: FDA Approves Simpler Plan B   (15 July 2009)



Abortifacient Mifepristone (sometimes called by its antiquated experimental name, RU 486) To Be Approved in Italy
The Italian pharmaceutical regulator is expected shortly to approve the sale of the deadly abortion drug, popularly known as "RU 486"  [it's antiquated experimental name], under the brand name Mifegyne [or generically as mifepristone], according to the Italian daily La Repubblica. The Italian Pharmaceuticals Agency (AIFA) announced the impending approval on Wednesday.

The move by the AIFA comes despite restrictions in Italian law allowing only surgical abortion, as well as warnings of the danger of maternal deaths recorded in association with [mifepristone] around the world….[continued at link above…]
[[Hilary White, ROME, July 30, 2009,; PFLI PharmAid Center]


Bayer Sued Over Safety of Popular Birth Control Pills
First came the warning letter from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration; now it's lawsuits.

Bayer HealthCare P

harmaceuticals has been hit with four individual federal lawsuits — three in Ohio, one in Wisconsin — involving the safety of its popular birth control pills Yaz and Yasmin.

And plaintiffs lawyers vow that plenty more are in the pipeline.

The back-to-back lawsuits — which were filed on July 7, 9 and 10 — come after Bayer reached an agreement with the Food and Drug Administration in 2008 to run a $20 million corrective ad campaign for overstating the benefits of Yaz and downplaying its risks.

The FDA had issued Bayer a warning letter about the ads, noting that Yaz actually has additional risks compared to other birth control pills because it contains the progestin drospirenone, which can increase potassium levels.

Plaintiffs lawyers say the FDA letter will serve as handy evidence in their lawsuits, which allege that Bayer failed to warn women and their doctors of the pills' increased risk of injury — most notably blood clots — while overpromoting the benefits of the drugs.

"That's going to be important evidence — overpromotion and downplaying the risks," attorney Janet G. Abaray, who is representing the plaintiffs, said of the FDA warning letter, noting that more lawsuits are coming. "We expect to be filing consistently over the next several weeks and months. We have many cases. It's just a matter of getting all of the medical records."

Abaray, a shareholder in the Cincinnati office of Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine, said that her law firm has amassed evidence that shows that there are many more adverse events reported to the FDA for Yaz and Yasmin than for other birth control pills that have been around longer. Yaz received FDA approval in 2006, Yasmin in 2001.

"It's a very large discrepancy," she said, stating that doctors are unaware of these adverse events figures unless they figure it out for themselves, which, she claimed, they often don't. "The drug companies have known [about the adverse effects] for some time, and they have not warned the doctors or their patients."

Bayer, meanwhile, defended the safety of Yaz and Yasmin. Bayer spokesperson Rose Talarico said, "Bayer is committed to the ethical manufacture, marketing and distribution of our products. Patient safety is our top priority. We continually evaluate the safety of all our marketed products." She continued: "All oral contraceptives contain clear labeling indicating the benefits and risks. Bayer stands behind the safety and efficacy of Yaz and Yasmin when used as directed. A woman and her health care professional should always discuss the benefits and potential risks of adverse health effects associated with all oral contraceptives."

Talarico could not comment on the litigation, citing company policy. But she did say, "We remain confident in our defenses of these claims and will vigorously defend against them." [14July2009, Tresa Baldas,
The National Law Journal,]



Comment: Note the stats about condom (in)effectiveness — 17%. And these "sexperts" think chastity education is unrealistic? N.V.
Withdrawal Method Finds Ally
Which birth-control method is more effective: condoms or withdrawal?

For sex educators and others, the answer is glaringly obvious. Withdrawal before ejaculation, the so-called pullout method, is a last resort, they say — something to be used only if there are no other options. The effectiveness of condoms, on the other hand, is well known.

So reproductive experts were taken aback by a paper in the June issue of Contraception magazine. Based on an analysis of studies, the paper pronounced withdrawal “almost as effective as the male condom — at least when it comes to pregnancy prevention.”

“If the male partner withdraws before ejaculation every time a couple has vaginal intercourse, about 4 percent of couples will become pregnant over the course of a year,” the authors write.

For condoms, used optimally, the rate is about 2 percent. But more significant, the authors say, are the rates for “typical use,” because people can’t be expected to use any contraception method perfectly every time. Typical use of withdrawal leads to pregnancy 18 percent of the time, they write; for typical use of condoms 17 percent of the time.

(There are other, more effective methods. Failure rates for the pill and the patch are about 8 percent; for Depo-Provera injections, about 3 percent; and for diaphragms, about 16 percent. Intrauterine devices fail less than 1 percent of the time.)

The lead author, Rachel K. Jones, a senior research associate at the Guttmacher Institute, which studies reproductive health matters, said she and her co-authors were motivated to write the paper because it seemed to them the pullout method was getting short shrift.

“We had all noticed that social science researchers and health care providers just kind of dismiss withdrawal and don’t seem to realize that it can prevent pregnancy,” Ms. Jones said. “Most people seem to be under the impression that you might as well do nothing.”

Even she used to think of withdrawal as “cheating,” she said. But “most women have used withdrawal at some point in their lives” and it seemed logical to compare the method to condoms, because health care providers “have no problem advocating the use of condoms as a method even though those are flawed.”

Some educators and physicians said they worried that putting out a message that withdrawal is effective would just give teenagers encouragement to have unprotected sex. And many underscored what the authors themselves point out: that unlike condoms, withdrawal does not protect against sexually transmitted diseases, a strong reason to encourage condoms.

But Ms. Jones said the intention was not to advocate withdrawal, but to advocate talking about it.

“Health care providers and health educators should discuss withdrawal as a legitimate, if slightly less effective, contraceptive method in the same way they do condoms and diaphragms,” the authors write. “Dismissing withdrawal as a legitimate contraceptive method is counterproductive for the prevention of pregnancy and also discourages academic inquiry into this frequently used and reasonably effective method.”

Ms. Jones and her co-authors said they were dismayed to see that withdrawal had not been exhaustively studied.

“Despite its role in the European fertility decline, and relatively high levels of use, acceptability and effectiveness,” they write, “most studies of withdrawal since that time have been small in scale (e.g., married Turkish men), or have focused on specific populations (e.g., Israeli Jews or Chinese Canadians obtaining abortions).”

The authors say there has been a bias against studying or legitimizing withdrawal, partly because of “preference for modern methods and the strongly held belief that pre-ejaculate fluid contains sperm, despite the lack of supporting evidence.”

Studies may underreport withdrawal use “because respondents do not consider it a ‘method,’ ” they write. “One study found that
only 3 of 62 Turkish factory workers reported on a questionnaire that they used withdrawal. However, in face-to-face interviews, an additional 17 reported current use of this method.”

Two of the authors also conducted their own interviews to gather anecdotal information on people’s sexual practices. The interviews indicated that many people did not consider withdrawal a serious method. One woman, said she used no birth control, adding: “Sometimes we use condoms. But for the most part just the withdrawal method. Which I know is, like, the worst thing.”

Many people preferred withdrawal to condoms. As one said, “you can still have sex, it doesn’t smell bad, it doesn’t have chemicals in it.”

The research convinced the authors that “it is unfortunate that some couples do not realize they are substantially reducing their risk of pregnancy when using withdrawal, as these misperceptions may cause unnecessary levels of anxiety. More speculatively, if more people realized that correct and consistent use of withdrawal substantially reduced the risk of pregnancy, they might use it more effectively.”

Some experts said they did not dispute the findings but worried that young people would construe the article’s conclusion’s too liberally. “Those data don’t necessarily translate to youth today,” said Dr. Melissa Gilliam, chief of family planning and contraceptive research in the University of Chicago’s Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, who is on the board of the Guttmacher Institute. “In terms of a reliable method used over and over again, the risk of failure is quite high.”

Martha Kempner, vice president for information and communications at the Sexuality Information and Education Council of the United States, said withdrawal, while less problematic for married or long-term monogamous couples, is not as acceptable in other circumstances because “well-intentioned young men can get it wrong, or somebody can just not do it after they said they would.”

…Ms. Kempner said: “It has made some classroom teachers nervous to give out the truth in this instance, but we do have to tell the truth. People, kids in particular, they’re using it. It is better than nothing, and it is always available. You can’t say, ‘Oh, I didn’t have one.’ ”
[ed. and WHEN will they tell the truth that abstinence works?]
[21July09, Pam Belluck, ; N.Valko, RN, 26July09]





Hologic Gets FDA Approval for Birth-Control System
Hologic has received marketing approval from the FDA for its contraception system. Called Adiana, the device permanently stops reproduction by applying a low level of radiofrequency energy to a small part of each fallopian tube, after which a tiny insert is left in each fallopian tube and new tissue forms around it. The tissue completely blocks the fallopian tubes, permanently preventing conception. [American City Business Journals/Boston; PharmFacts E-News Update, 12July09]



Study Shows Teen Contraception Use Declining, Level of Sexual Activity Unchanged. After years of declining teenage pregnancy rates and improved teen contraception use during the 1990s and early 2000s, the trends appeared to have flattened or even reversed among some groups of teens in recent years, according to a study from Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health and the Guttmacher Institute, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

Researchers found that from 2003 to 2007, teens' contraceptive use declined by 10%, while their level of sexual activity did not change. The decrease in contraceptive use was particularly prevalent among black teens.

The figures take into account the rate of contraception use as well as the types of contraceptives used, as methods vary in effectiveness.

Teen condom use leveled off and in some cases declined, according to the study.

The study also reported that the teen birth rate increased by 5% from 2005 to 2007. [National Parenership for Women and Families,; ALL Pro-Life Today, 19 June 2009]




Peruvian Government Shelves Investigation into Massive Forced Sterilizations of Indigenous Women. Peru's government has decided to end its investigation against former health officials for thousands of forced sterilizations carried out during the late 1990s, under president Alberto Fujimori.

Human rights organizations have thoroughly documented evidence that women were physically coerced, threatened, tricked, and enticed with economic incentives during the implementation of the program, which sterilized a total of approximately 400,000 Peruvian women in just two years, 1997 and 1998, with the help of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA).

The coercive actions of program officials have been tied to pressure from the Peruvian government to meet pre-set sterilization quotas. The economic incentives offered to desperately poor women have also been criticized as coercive, and violated existing international standards for such programs.

However, the Provincial Prosecutor in charge of human rights cases, Jaime Jose Swartz, reportedly claims that there is insufficient evidence to charge the nation's health ministers and other program personnel for human rights abuses.

The decision to shelve the case has sparked protests from pro-life organizations, as well as human rights and feminist groups.

“I hope our government changes its decision,” said Carlos Polo, head of the Population Research Institute’s Latin America office in Peru, in an interview with LifeSiteNews.

“I have personally spoken with Victoria Vigo, one of the women sterilized who presented her testimony before the US Congress when the Population Research Institute presented the evidence of all of the abuses committed [during the program]," Polo said.

"Victoria was devastated. With this most recent decision on the part of the government, she will feel defrauded because the crimes that were committed against these poor Peruvian women, almost 400,000, who were sterilized in two years, now remain unpunished.”

News of the decision to cancel the investigation comes just as Colombia's House of Representatives is passing a bill that will provide economic and other incentives to both men and women who accept sterilization.
Related: Colombian House of Representatives Approves National Sterilization Program;




Scotland Figures Show Sexually Transmitted Diseases Up Despite Plan B Promotion
Abortion advocates who promote the Plan B drug say that it will lead to a reduction in the number of abortions. Figures from Scotland have already sh

own that is not the case and, now, new numbers from the government there show that the number of sexually transmitted diseases are on the rise.

Scotland is an area where the morning after pill has been promoted heavily and the government has made it available over the counter. Abortion advocates pressed hard for the FDA to allow non-prescription sales in the United States, too.

Now, the Scottish government indicates the number of teenagers diagnosed with chlamydia has risen by 27% over the past four years. And the cases of the sexually transmitted infection among 10 to 15-year-olds increased from 249 to 318 between 2004 and 2008.

The figures also showed that recorded cases of genital warts among children increased from 54 to 62 from 2004 to 2008, while cases of gonorrhoea rose from five to seven.

The figures on sexually transmitted disease come after a May report showing abortions rose to an all-time high there.

The new Scottish data shows there were 13,817 abortions in 2008, an increase of 79 over the previous year. That's despite the latest figures from England and Wales showing a 1.6% drop in the number of abortions carried out in 2008.

"The 2008 abortion statistics confirm the abject failure of the so-called 'sexual health strategy' of recent years," he said.

"In 2007 I claimed that we kill the equivalent of a classroom full of school children every day and many objected to the vehemence of my language," he added. "Grotesquely, since then we have seen classroom sizes in Scotland fall and abortion numbers rise."

"Were this carnage to take place among children lucky enough to have been born our outrage would be boundless," he continued.
[4June09,; Edinburgh, Scotland ]





Contraceptive Pill Limits Lean Muscle Gain Exercise: Study
A new study presented at the annual meeting of the American Physiological Society in New Orleans found that women who use the contraceptive pill gain far less lean muscle mass from weight training compared to those who don't take oral contraceptives.

The study, led by Chang-Woock Lee and Steven Riechman from the Department of Health and Kinesiology at Texas A&M University in College Station, and Mark Newman of the Human Energy Research Laboratory at the University of Pittsburgh, found that oral contraceptive use limits muscle gain from strength training in women under 35.

The researchers studied 73 generally healthy women between 18 and 31 who completed a whole-body resistance exercise training program consisting of 13 exercises performed three times per week for 10 weeks.

Of these, 34 took the pill and 39 did not. Both groups were encouraged to eat at least half a gram of protein per pound of body weight each day – about a third more than recommended by U.S. nutritional guidelines – to ensure they got enough protein and calories to build muscle.

Lead researcher Chang Woock Lee said there were significant differences in muscle growth between the two groups. Lean muscle mass increased by just 2.1 percent in the oral contraceptive (OC) users, compared to 3.5 percent growth in non-OC users.

"We were surprised at the magnitude of differences in muscle gains between the two groups, with the non-OC women gaining more than 60 percent greater muscle mass than their OC counterpart," the researcher stated.

Blood samples taken before and after the training period showed that OC users had significantly lower levels of muscle-building hormones such as testosterone and far higher levels of muscle-breaking hormones such as cortisol.

Elevated cortisol levels have been linked with the onset of most diseases, increased cholesterol levels, aging skin, graying hair, mental and emotional fatigue, diabetes, and accumulation of excess body fat, a common occurrence in women in the "pill."

Lee said these findings "could help explain" why OC users showed diminished muscle gains from resistance exercise training, but that "vigorous future studies with more stringent control and clever design will be definitely needed to confirm the results and/or elucidate the underlying mechanism conclusively."

"The factors that explain the differences in the magnitude of the responses to resistance exercise training between individuals are largely unknown," Lee said.

"Numerous health and performance benefits including improved exercise/athletic performance, body composition, esthetic beauty, and self-image can be attained from the increased muscle mass and strength associated with resistance exercise training.

"OC users may not be able to fully enjoy those benefits while experiencing impaired exercise performance and difficulties achieving athletic goals due to diminished muscle responses they get from resistance exercise training," the researchers concluded. [23April 2009, T. M. Baklinski, New Orleans,,; PharmFacts E-News Update, 1May09]

Plan B for Minors: A Bad Prescription                                         
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently expanded over-the-counter (OTC) access to the “emergency contraceptive” Plan B to 17-year-old girls and boys. Since 2006 the FDA has allowed adults, 18 and older, to purchase the drug without a prescription.

The reaction of the press to the FDA’s decision has been predictable and dead wrong. Editorials declared it “a long-overdue triumph of science over politics” (Baltimore Sun) and “not only good science but smart policy” (San Jose Mercury News).

The scientific literature, however, shows that FDA’s move was based on wishful thinking, not science. Plan B’s claimed effectiveness has been debunked—both for individuals and populations. And while advocates encourage unnecessary and repeated use, science shows that young women are being put at risk, while the drug’s mode of action and side effects are downplayed.

One of Plan B’s earliest champions, Princeton’s James Trussell, Ph.D., widely promoted claims that it was 89% effective in preventing pregnancy and would reduce abortions in the U.S. by half. But in January 2007, Trussell and others published a review of 23 studies evaluating Plan B effectiveness.

They found that “no study has shown that increased access to [Plan B] reduces unintended pregnancy or abortion rates on a population level.” They concluded that individual use of Plan B may reduce pregnancy risk by “more than 23%,” but that efficacy claims of 80% “may overstate actual efficacy, possibly quite substantially.”

In short: Plan B wo

rks poorly in the individual woman and not at all in large groups of women!

So when are women advised to take this wonder drug?

Plan B’s 20-page product insert says that it is meant for “infrequent emergency” use. But Barr, its manufacturer, and others describe an emergency as any “unprotected intercourse or a known or suspected contraceptive failure” (e.g., torn condom) or missing one’s birth control pills for two days.

According to Managing Contraception, a woman using a daily progestin-only pill should take Plan B if she is even 3 hours late in taking one pill!

All these recommendations disregard the fact that women are naturally infertile 3 out of every 4 weeks of the menstrual cycle and so have no “need” for Plan B 75% of the time.

Pharmacists in many countries report that some young men, as well as girls, are buying Plan B many times a month. The possibility of coercion, abuse of a minor, and cover-up of statutory rape cannot be ignored.

Plan B’s side effects and risks are not trivial.  One dose is the equivalent of taking 40 Ovrette contraceptive pills in 12 hours! 

Use of Plan B can result in bleeding disorders, extreme menstrual cycle irregularities, soaring STD rates, and increased risk of potentially fatal ectopic pregnancies.

There is also evidence that, depending on the timing of Plan B relative to ovulation, the drug may act as an abortifacient by indirectly altering protein levels in the uterine lining so the week- old embryo cannot implant to receive nutrition from his or her mother.

Girls and their parents deserve the truth about Plan B—not more deception and wishful thinking.

[May 1, 2009, By Susan E. Wills, Life Issues Forum; Susan Wills is assistant director for education and outreach in the USCCB Secretariat of Pro-Life Activities]



Group Challenges Federal Order to Sell Morning After Pill to Minor Girls. A legal group has filed the papers necessary to challenge a federal court order that required the Food and Drug Administration to allow the Plan B drug to be sold to minor girls.

The Alliance Defense fund filed the papers to intervene in the case.

The group is acting on behalf of Concerned Women for America, the Christian Medical and Dental Association, and Christian Pharmacists Fellowship International.

The organizations contend that the order disregards parental rights and the safety of teenage girls.Matt Bowman, a top attorney with ADF, talked with about the challenge.

“The life and health of women, especially minors, is more important than the political agenda of pro-abortion activist groups," he said.

"Minors are least of all in a position to make an informed decision about the life or death of a child, or even about their own safety. It is a lie that over-the-counter sales of this drug increase safety for women, including minors."

“The organizations that are seeking to intervene in this lawsuit represent thousands of medical personnel that will not only be affected by the court’s order but believe strongly that it will result in both parents and doctors being left out of the loop in a child’s care," Bowman explained.

"The order allows minors to bypass being seen by a doctor who can check for sexually transmitted diseases and other potentially serious medical conditions,” Bowman told “Our motion argues that the case should be dismissed because, under the law, the plaintiffs have not established sufficient reason that they can even ask for an order like this.”

In 2005, the pro-abortion Center for Reproductive Rights sued the Food and Drug Administration to force it to make the Plan B drug available over the counter.

The FDA agreed to make it available without a prescription to women 18 years of age or older. Unsatisfied, the CRR continued its lawsuit to force the FDA to make the drug available over the counter to girls aged 17.

In March, U.S. District Judge Edward R. Korman ordered the FDA to make the drug available to women as young as 17 within 30 days and to consider reversing its entire decision on selling the morning after pill to minors.

After the ruling, Wendy Wright, the president of Concerned Women for America, said the age restrictions need more enforcement, not less.

She also worries that a parent, older sibling or other relative or older friends could purchase the morning after pill for young teens, avoiding the requirement that they visit a doctor first before using the drug.

Wright said selling the morning after pill over the counter will make it easier for men who abuse young women to cover up their crimes.

"Any adult male who is having sex with a minor could walk into a pharmacy, buy the drug, and coax the girl into taking the pill," she said.

Wright also said that Planned Parenthood and abortion advocates were given certain restrictions by the FDA on the dangerous abortion drug RU 486, but that those haven't been followed.

"Those restrictions have never been followed, women have died, yet no one has been punished nor the drug approval pulled,” said Wright.

Coincidentally, last week, the FDA approved the first generic version of the Plan B drug. The new generic of the so-called emergency contraceptive, which can cause abortions in limited circumstances, will be available in a 0.75 mg dosage.

The motion to intervene in Tummino v. Hamburg was filed Thursday with the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

The morning after pill has been hailed by abortion advocates as a method of reducing abortions, but stats in the United States and elsewhere prove otherwise.

Related web sites:
Alliance Defense Fund –
 [June 29, 2009, Washington, DC, ]