What are we doing? Obstetricians, whose job it is to help usher new life into the world, display birth control advertisements on their waiting room end-tables the way one’s Aunt Matilda might once have displayed dear family photos. The secular news media, whose job it is to objectively report information, only last year exalted 50 years of “the pill” as an emancipating wonder for women as if there were not multitudes of women now agonizing on their deathbeds because they took this drug. And now our federal government thinks it infinitely wise to mandate contraception in healthcare. It is as if our culture has blinded its eyes, as if we could not bear to see the truths connected with this potentially deadly pill.
The conference “50 Years of the Pill” was held at the end of 2010 and sponsored by Human Life International. For me, attending this conference was like going on an expedition to unearth the truths about the birth control pill and its impact upon women and society.
One startling truth which was brought to light was that hormonal contraceptives have been declared a Group 1 carcinogenby the World Health Organization (WHO). A carcinogen is a substance that causes cancer, by causing changes in the DNA structure of cells. Estrogen-progestogen contraceptives have achieved the dubious distinction of sharing this carcinogenic ranking with such toxic substances as arsenic, asbestos and plutonium. But unlike arsenic, asbestos, plutonium this is one carcinogen the government will recommend for perfectly healthy women. It may be true that some women can take the pill with no ill effects. But for many otherwise healthy women, these drugs are deadly.
Dangers and Statistics:
Many of the dangers of the pill are listed on the package insert. One conference speaker suggested we visit our local “friendly” pharmacy and ask to see this insert for ourselves: “If you hold one end of the insert high up, the other end will drop to the floor,” she warned.
A nurse at the conference described her visit to a stroke unit. Amidst the elderly faces, there were also young girls. “Why are they here?” She inquired. She was then told that they “had been on the pill.” How easily the government ignores that there are real lives that will ultimately succumb to the side effects listed on the pill’s package insert. Some startling statistics are as follows:
- According to the Journal of American Medicine, using birth control doubles one’s risk of stroke.
- According to the National Cancer Institute one in eight women will be diagnosed with breast cancer at some point in their lives.
- The National Cancer Institute estimates that in 2010, 39,840 women will die of breast cancer. The institute also estimates that in 2010, 207,090 will be diagnosed with breast cancer.
- According to the Mayo Clinic Research, if a woman uses hormonal contraception for at least four years before her first full-term pregnancy she is at a 52% greater risk for developing breast cancer.
- According to the International Agency of Research on Cancer, if a woman uses a hormonal contraceptive for more than five years, she becomes four times more likely to develop cervical cancer.
- According to the National Cancer Institute, black women, who are between the ages of 20 and 50, are twice as likely to die of breast cancer as white women with the disease. This is because black women are more vulnerable to “triple-negative” cancers which are more deadly.
- Breast cancer has increased 660 percent since 1973. At the conference, Dr. Angela Lanfranchi(breast cancer surgeon) linked this increase with the use of hormonal contraception.
Defenders of the pill like to retort that hormonal contraceptives can lower the risk of ovarian and endometrial cancer. But comparatively few women get endometrial and ovarian cancer to begin with compared to the one in eight who will get breast cancer. The numbers are far from an even exchange. If a woman is eager to lower her risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer, this can be done through exercise and diet. Specific research indicates:
- The risk of endometrial cancer can be reduced through a diet high in fiber, retinol, b-carotene, vitamin C and vitamin E, and by avoiding animal fats and proteins.
- The risk of ovarian cancer can be reduced through a diet high in vegetables, fruits, beans and tea.
We women don’t need to ingest carcinogenic drugs to lower our risk of endometrial and ovarian cancer. (For women already battling breast cancer, an excellent book entitled: A bend in the Road: A Year’s Journey Through Breast Cancer, by Karen Kelly Boyce, provides important nutritional information for healing of this disease.)
Poisons are Profitable:
Hormonal contraception is a carcinogenic and potent drug. High doses of these drugs are needed to mimic pregnancy in the body and thus prevent pregnancy. It’s not normal for the body to function with such high levels of these hormones, especially over a prolonged period of time spanning many years.
Webster’s defines poison as: “Any agent which, when introduced into the animal organism, is capable of producing a morbid, noxious, or deadly effect upon it.” The pill is poisoning many women. Hormonal contraception poisons women in one of two ways. They:
- Cause Growth in breast tissue which in turn causes cellular mutations and ultimately cancer.
- Act as a Direct Carcinogen directly causing cancerous cells to form.
Each year, thousands of cases of cancer can be attributed to hormonal contraception. Any other drug (or heaven forbid natural supplement) which had been linked to so much cancer would have been yanked from the market long ago. But evil can grow strong roots once an industry falls in love with profit.
Now that this has happened, yanking (or at least more carefully prescribing these carcinogenic drugs) might seem impossible. Birth control pills carry an economic incentive that has blurred society’s desire to do right. The billion dollar pharmaceutical business is booming.
Many breast cancer victims almost intuitively know the pill may have caused their cancer. A sampling of this intuition among breast cancer victims can be found at: http://community.breastcancer.org/forum/78/topic/740486. Here are some of the threads you will find there:
Janet: ...I took birth control pills from age 19 – about 40. I have no bc [breast cancer] history in my family. Something I noticed that I found interesting as I read through your postings is that statistically we would be considered “young” for breast cancer, as the average age to get a breast cancer diagnosis is 61. Combine that with the fact that we are probably the first generation to use birth control pills for any length of time, I definitely feel there may be a connection. Even if it’s just a suspicion at this time, I think I’ll tell my 19 year old daughter to look into another means of controlling her mild acne.
Curlylocks: The first question my surgeon asked me is if I had taken the birth control pill. So yes I believe there is a link. I never had a concern about getting bc [breast cancer], actually never thought of reading the package insert when I was 19!
One of those things that makes you go hmmmmm…..
Hmmmmmm indeed! Nurses at the conference have observed a peculiar pattern in young breast cancer patients. Many of us may have seen this pattern in someone we know. The pattern goes something like this:
A young girl goes on the pill.
She marries and goes off the pill.
She has a child.
She goes back on the pill
She has another child.
She goes back on the pill.
She gets breast cancer.
Effect on Young Girls:
For many young girls across America, the carcinogenic birth control pill is now eerily prescribed by some as a “right of passage” into adulthood. Oddly, it’s often the mothers who are taking their daughters to their physicians to have their “precautionary” carcinogenic prescription written. Obtaining this prescription is seen by many as a “natural” step in growing up. But it’s not natural. It’s dangerous and exploitative.
- Hormones Dangerous to Young Girls: The elevated hormones in oral contraception are particularly dangerous for girls whose bodies are still in a rapid growth phase, causing rapid growth not only in normal cells but in cancer cells too. After a full-term pregnancy a cancer resistant mechanism develops in breast tissue cells. Hormonal contraception is especially dangerous to teens because they normally have not developed this cancer resistant mechanism to protect them. At the conference, Dr. Lanfranci explained:
“It’s like you took this Molotov cocktail of a Group 1 carcinogen and threw it into that young girl’s breast.”
- Hormones Exploit Girls: Like they were candy, rather than a dangerous drug, birth control pills are dispensed and pushed upon girls by pharmaceutical companies through the media, “family” doctors, through school systems and through Planned Parenthood. This push is madness.
One example of this “push” was explained by conference speaker Patricia Bainbridge. This example is a birth control pill named “Yaz.” Yaz is specifically marketed to young girls, hence its “Yazzy-pizzazzy” name. The television commercials for these pills show floating balloons and pretty girls lightly and gaily dancing about. But the commercials mislead young girls in a serious way.
Yaz is a dangerous drug. In 2009 there were 1100 lawsuits against Yaz. The dangers of Yaz are ineffectively communicated to girls who are the target “market” for these drugs. Here are some dangers:
cerebral hemorrhage, cholestatic jaundice, depression, candidiasis, change in corneal curvature, thrombophlebitis, arterial thromboembolism, pulmonary embolism, myocardial infarction, cerebral thrombosis, hypertension, gallbladder disease, hepatic adenomas, retinal thrombosis and gastrointestinal symptoms.
If you want to know more about Yaz, you can google: “Yaz lawsuits,” “almost killed by Yaz,” or “Yaz birth control deaths.” But it is not just with respect to the dangerous side effects of birth control pills that girls are being misled. They are misled in other ways too.
Duping the Girls:
Girls are further duped through inadequate communication in the following ways:
- There is poor communication to girls that no contraception is completely “effective.” The on-line medical manual of one drug company states:
“There are several methods of contraception. None is completely effective.”
This truth is ineffectively communicated to girls.
- There is poor communication to girls that hormonal contraception can cause abortion: Girls are often not told that if they do conceive a child while on the pill, the hormones in the pill may cause the baby to be expelled from the womb. This is called chemical abortion. A nurse at the conference described chemical abortion as being like a child going down a slippery slide. The conceived child slides out of the womb because it is unable to implant. It is now estimated that there have been 250 million chemical abortions caused by the pill. Who is explaining this to young girls?
The term “contraception” is misleading. The origin of the word is “contra” + “conception” meaning “against conception.” But the pill does not just work against conception. It also works against the already conceived baby by blocking implantation in the womb, thus forcing the baby to abort. Drug companies know this. The following statement is also from a drug company’s medical instruction manual: Contraception is prevention of fertilization of an egg by a sperm (conception) or attachment of the fertilized egg to the lining of the uterus (implantation).
Effect on Women and Marriage:
The pill has had the following effect on women and marriage:
- Women given False Sense of Freedom: The impact of the pill on women and marriage is one not just of mortality, but of morality. We women have been brainwashed into believing that the pill has given us freedom. Ignoring the truth that children are a gift from God, we believe we can have just the number of children we want, exactly when we want them. We believe the pill puts us on par with men. But how many men would willingly ingest Group 1 carcinogens for months let alone years for their spouses? How is it love for a husband to expect this of his wife?
Having talked ourselves out into, or having been talked into pre-marital and extra-marital affairs—having talked ourselves out of, or having being talked out of relationships open to life—it was easy for others to convince millions of us to pour carcinogenic drugs daily into our bodies.
We thought we were ingesting freedom. How many women embraced the lie that giving into passions, rather than conquering them, was freedom? But this was not freedom. It was slavery. By ingesting birth control pills, we ingested lies. By rejecting one perceived cross, we’ve found only new and heavier crosses to carry. Dr. Lanfranchi, who became a surgeon at a time when there were few women surgeons in the country said: “We don’t have to take a Group 1 carcinogen to be liberated… “
- Women Objectified, Marriages Dissolve: The pill teaches men to disregard and disrespect women, to treat and use women as objects. How do marriages survive when the wife is used as a mere pleasure object? Often they don’t. According to the U.S. census bureau, only one in three couples will reach their 25th anniversary, and only one in five will reach their 35th. The divorce rate for couples who use Natural Family Planning is less than 1%.
What can we do?
The Food and Drug Administration (FDA), doctors and the culture must work to solve these problems:
1. FDA: The big business of birth control has overpowered truth. But business is not about profit alone. It is about serving the good of the society. Drug companies should run their businesses in ways that help human beings, not in ways that exploit them. The FDA should mandate the following:
- Drug companies should be banned from using advertising to lure otherwise healthy people into the using carcinogenic drugs.
- Labeling should clearly communicate hazards. The FDA is about to mandate gruesome images on cigarette labels. It ought to do the same for the pill. In a recent article in the Washington Times, Jenn Giroux, R.N. stated the FDA should mandate that images of young corpses in coffins, emaciated cancer patients and college-age stroke victims be placed on pill labels.
- Pharmaceutical companies should call the pill what it is—not a “contraceptive” pill but a “contraceptive-abortive” pill.
2. Doctors: Dr. Lanfranchi was sympathetic towards doctors. The carcinogenic information about the pill is itself a bitter pill for doctors to swallow. Dr. Lanfranchi said:“25 years down in my career, when I hear that I’ve been handing out a Group 1 carcinogen for the last 25 years, I’m going to be resistant to that…”
Doctors need to change their approach:
- Doctors need to prescribe hormonal drugs with care. They ought to be prescribed only when there is a serious medical condition caused by a hormonal imbalance, or for short-term need.
- Doctors are more than pill dispensers. At the conference, Dr. John Bruchalski (founder of the Tepeyac Family Center and Divine Mercy Care) explained that doctors need to engage their patients in conversation, and see if the relationships in which the patients are involved are healthy and bringing them respect. Doctors need to begin listening to their patients.
3. Culture. The cultural winds need a sharp turn in a moral direction. As parents, educators, doctors and nurses, we can live by a few simple principles, and teach our youth to live by them too. These principles will decrease the need for birth control and were articulated best by Professor Janet Smith at the conference:“You are not ready for sex until you are ready for children. And you are not ready for children until you are married.”
One conference speaker stated: no girl ever wished she’d had sex earlier. Our culture is luring girls into unhealthy sexual behavior which they will eventually regret. We teach young people: “just say no…” to drugs, to alcohol and to hopping into a car with a drunk driver. In a similar fashion youth can be taught “just say no” to pre-marital and extra-martial sex.
But this moral message can’t come from only one place. It must permeate society. It must come from the schools, from parents and from the media through music, television and the internet. Society lived by this moral code for thousands of years just fine until the pill came along.
It’s important not just to protect mortality, but to defend morality. Government must end its long-standing love affair with contraception and pornography. We need to stop calling pornography “freedom of speech.” It’s not speech at all. It’s immoral action that causes grave harm to humanity. It is indecent exposure gone wild and the job of government is to stop this indecency so that humanity might not be lead into living dangerous and harmful life styles. If we want to live in a decent society, then we need moral laws that protect our right to live decently.
Teaching children to live by rules of chastity might infuriate pharmaceutical companies who have made a bundle contaminating the bodies of teens for decades. And it may throw Planned Parenthood into a fit. But we can’t be led by lies, or let women be killed by lies either.
We must stand strong and become good and moral leaders for young girls—leading them to keep their heads high, protect their own dignity and do what is good and right. We must shield girls from the harm of contraception as we guide them in truth, and lead them away from behaviors and deadly drugs that may ultimately do them grave physical or moral harm—or cost them their lives.
i WHO—IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, August , 2010.
ii Surveillance Epidemology and End Results; National Cancer Institute
iii Ibid. Kahlenborn, “Oral contraceptive Use-as a risk factor or premenopausal breast cancer: a meta-analysis,” May Clinic proceedings 2006, pp. 1290-1320, 2006. The Pill may increase Breast Cancer risk in African American Women | Health | Change.org
iv Dr. Angela Lanfranchi, M.D., F.A.C.S. is a graduate of Georgetown University School of Medicine. She is a breast surgical oncologist, and Clinical Assistant Professor of Surgery. Dr. Lanfranchi was named a 2010 Castle Connolly NY Metro Area “Top Doc” in breast surgery. She co-founded the non-profit Breast Cancer Prevention Institute to educate lay and medical groups about breast cancer prevention. She has traveled nationally and internationally speaking about breast cancer prevention.
v http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/268887/postsvi Nutritional factors in relation to endometrial cancer: A report from a population-based case-control study in Shanghai, China
vii Could foods prevent ovarian cancer? – Health – Diet and nutrition – Nutrition Notes – msnbc.com
viii Breast Cancer Prevention Institute
xii LifeSite News.com; “Surgeon: Birth Control Pill a Molotov Cocktail for Breast Cancer.” by Kathleen Gilbert The MERCK Manuals on-line Medical Library; Contraception. Kuhar, “Infant Homicides through Contraceptives,’ International Pharmacists for Life 5th edition, 2003
xiii The MERCK Manuals on-line Medical Library; Contraception
xiv US Census Bureau 2005
xv Dr. Robert Lerner, University of Chicago, “National Survey of Family Growth,” U.S. Government’s National Center for Health Statistics and “General Social Survey,” National Opinion Research Center, 2000. Physicians for Life, 2007.
xvi Breast Cancer Prevention Institute