Contraceptives Harmful to Women's Health

Article excerpt

THOSE who are advocating the passing of the Reproductive Health Bill in the Philippine Congress are guilty of gross misrepresentation. They maintain that the bill is intended to promote the health of women. That claim could not be farther from the truth. There are abundant scientific and medical evidences that the so-called "modern methods" of family planning, such as birth control pills, intrauterine device (IUD), barrier methods (condoms/diaphragms) and ligation can have harmful effects to millions of women all over the world.

In a most enlightening paper by Dr. Angelita Miguel-Aguirre, M.D., Fellow and Diplomate of the Philippine College of Physicians and Chairperson of the Committee on Ethics of the Makati Medical Society, the ill effects of contraceptives on women's health are very well documented. Unfortunately, these harmful consequences of contraceptives are hidden by the promoters of birth control, especially from unsuspecting poor women who have no access to the information that experts like Dr. Miguel-Aguirre provide to the public. Even worse, there are advertising and marketing campaigns funded by the anti-life people (such as those appearing in some local TV channels) that present contraceptives as "essential medicines," peddling outright lies that pills and contraceptives can cure cervical cancer and other female diseases.

What does an expert like Dr. Miguel-Aguirre say about birth control pills? According to her, on top of numerous studies showing the carcinogenic properties of birth control pills since the development of the synthetic estrogens in 1938 by Sir Edward Charles Dodds, the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) announced last July 29, 2005 that "after a thorough review of the published scientific literature, it has concluded that combined estrogen-progestogen oral contraceptives (and combined estrogen-progestogen menopausal therapy) are carcinogenic to humans (Group 1 category, which is used when there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans).

Prior to this announcement, a respected journalist from Columbia University, Barbara Seaman, after years of research, published several books exposing estrogen's detrimental effect on the health of women. Notable among these books are the "The Doctor's Case Against the Pill," and "The Greatest Experiment Ever Performed on Women. Exploding the Estrogen Myth." Barbara Seaman is a co-founder of the National Women's Health Network, a women's advocacy group in Washington D.C., that refused money from the drug industry as part of its charter.

There are numerous adverse effects of the pill on women that have been equally well documented. They are breast cancer, cervical cancer, liver cancer, premature hypertension and coronary artery disease leading to heart attacks and strokes, thromboembolism/pulmonary embolism. Other negative side effects are decreased libido, infertility, leg cramps, gallstone formation, nausea, and bloatedness. Although some women may notice improvement in their complexion, others may develop acne by using the pill. It is claimed to reduce the risk for ovarian cancer. But evidently this is outweighed by its numerous risks for more common forms of cancer. Unfortunately, the side effects most frequently communicated to potential users, in order to qualify for "informed choice," are simple headaches, increased weight or increased appetite or other minor ailments.

The top three causes of mortality in the Philippines are 1) diseases of the heart; 2) diseases of the vascular system; and 3) malignant neoplasm. With the aggressive promotion of the contraceptive pill, many of the casualties of these diseases will be women who will be suffering from the adverse effects of synthetic estrogen as is already happening in developed countries. …