Endangering Women’s Lives in the Name of Women’s Health


I published this post about 10 months ago. I’m re-running it today because of the combox discussions on birth control.

I am, as I’ve said many times on this blog, a feminist. I’m also no spring chicken. I remember back when feminists actually agitated for safer forms of contraception for women and criticized the marketing of dangerous chemical birth control to women without regard for their health and safety.

No more.

The “feminism” of today equates any form of chemical contraceptive — no matter the health dangers to women — as not only ok, but an absolutely imperative and vital part of “women’s health.” They have turned the phrase “women’s health” into a synonym for abortion and the massive application of a chemical band-aid to the sexual exploitation of women and sexualizing of young girls.

They are, in short, exactly who they used to oppose.

Remember Yaz?

I’ve lost count of the Yaz commercials I saw. Here are a couple of examples. Notice the lack of warning about side effects and the age of the girls this pill is marketed to in the first one.

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And another ad pushing Yaz, but this time with warnings:


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And the FDA finally takes note of the young women who are dying because of this totally unnecessary medication:

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The important thing to remember is that none of this is necessary. Yaz is not being used to treat cancer or any other illness. It is marketed for mild teen-age acne, pre-menstrual emotional upset and to prevent pregnancy. It is an entirely elective medication with fatal side effects, being marketed directly to young women and girls.

After Yaz had been on the market a number of years, and probably damaged the health of many young women, ABC News finally wrote a story about it.

The 2011 ABC News article reads in part:

The blockbuster birth control pill with benefits, Yaz was pitched as the choice for women desperate for relief from severe PMS and acne. But now, new independent studies have found that Yaz carries higher blood clotting risks than other leading birth control pills.

ABC News investigated whether tens of millions of women switched to a more potentially risky pill that, as it turns out, was never proven to treat common PMS.

In 2007, Carissa Ubersox, 24, was fresh out of college and starting her dream job as a pediatric nurse in Madison, Wis. On Christmas day, while working the holiday shift, her boyfriend surprised her at the hospital with a marriage proposal.

Wanting to look and feel her best for her wedding day, Carissa said she switched to Yaz after watching one of its commercials that suggested this pill could help with bloating and acne.

“Yaz is the only birth control proven to treat the physical and emotional premenstrual symptoms that are severe enough to impact your life,” claimed the ad.

It “sounds like a miracle drug,” Carissa said she remembers thinking.

But just three months later, in February 2008, Carissa’s legs started to ache. She didn’t pay much attention to it, assuming, she said, that it was just soreness from being on her feet for a 12-hour shift.

Birth Control Medication Under
Investigation Watch Video

By the next evening, she was gasping for air. Blood clots in her legs had traveled through her veins to her lungs, causing a massive double pulmonary embolism.

Her fiance called 911, but on the way to the hospital Carissa’s heart stopped. Doctors revived her, but she slipped into a coma for almost two weeks.

Carissa’s only memory of that time is something she refers to as an extraordinary dreamlike experience. She said she remembers a big ornate gate and seeing a recently deceased cousin.

That cousin, Carissa said, told her, “You can stay here with me or you can go back.”

But, she recounted, he told her if she goes back she’ll end up blind.

“I just remember waking up in the hospital and I was like, ‘Oh, I guess I chose to stay,’” Carissa told ABC News.

Like her cousin in her dreamlike experience foretold, she actually did wake up blind, and remains blind to this day.

(Read more here.)

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  • FW Ken

    I suppose you know that California is about to allow abortions by non-doctors.


    • hamiltonr

      Yes. See the post above this one. It’s a re-blog. I’m reposting a number of things I’ve written about the exploitation of girls and women by the “reproductive health” people.

  • TheodoreSeeber

    And still I have contraceptive advocates to this day tell me that birth control pills aren’t poison and are perfectly safe.

    When are we going to learn that pharmaceutical companies exist to make profit, and are not that much different than the snake oil salesmen of the 1800s?

  • Becky

    I’m posting this as a PSA — women with a history of migraine with aura should not take the pill. I suspect Yaz would be especially dangerous for them. I took the pill for years in my 20s (before I was Catholic) before I saw a doctor who noted that I had a history of migraine with aura and warned me that taking most versions of the pill would result in a dramatically higher risk of stroke. Since many medical history forms don’t even ask about migraines, I suspect there are lots of women out there putting themselves unnecessarily at risk.

    The *absolute* risk is still pretty small, but we’re talking a four-fold increase in the likelihood of having a stroke, as per the chart in the middle of this article: http://www.migrainetrust.org/factsheet-stroke-and-migraine-10891. Not worth it …

  • Dale

    Rebecca, I am not sure if you heard the news, but the Iowa Board of Medicine voted yesterday to no longer allow telemedicine abortion by pill. In this long-distance procedure, a doctor and patient would video conference together. If the doctor decided to give approval, he would push a button which dispensed the appropriate medicine to her.

    Iowa became the first state in the nation to allow this controversial procedure. For the past five years, it has been vigorously protested and just as vigorously defended.

  • Holly

    I’ve written a book about this issue. Out September 7th.

  • Rod Van Mechelen

    It’s indicative of the nature of mass movements that feminism has devolved from being about women’s rights to being primarily concerned with men’s wrongs to, now, defending corporate interests. Eric Hoffer was right.