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Contraceptives, religion and politics, Oh My!

For those of you who are regular YOTD blog readers, this will be a little different than one of my usual posts. Perhaps a little more serious, a tad controversial and it’s actually a posting mainly in response to an article I read on the Washington Times website. At first, I thought it was ludicrous that a journalist would present such an obviously biased account of what is apparently going on in the U.S. Thank goodness, I then noticed it was posted as an opinion piece. Fewf! I’ll be looking at some of the points she’s made, so you may want to skim the article before reading on here. GIROUX: Killer compromise – Washington Times. The author of the article states that she is a nurse and while I don’t agree with the way in which she has presented her information, it is her opinion and everyone is entitled to that. Now, here’s mine.(By the way, I’m totally aware of the irony of posting this on what is Family Day here in Ontario.)

She starts her article with an attack on the Obama administration and how it is trying to hurt women on several levels.

Just days after the inauguration, Mr. Obama began an aggressive assault on morality, liberty and women’s health. Foreshadowing the president’s drastic left-wing agenda was the nomination of America’s top abortion governor, Kathleen Sebelius, as secretary of health and human services. She has delivered far beyond the hopes and dreams of the radical feminist movement and Planned Parenthood.

While I am not a radical feminist, I do believe in planned parenthood. Fourteen year-olds should NOT be having babies. They are not prepared to have babies financially or emotionally. I’m not saying a forced abortion program should be put into effect, but a teen coming from a family that is below the poverty line often cannot afford to keep a child, let alone raise a healthy one. There’s also adoption. As for morality…what morality has Obama ‘assaulted’ here? I assume she is talking about the religious morality she, herself holds. Liberty? Again, I can only assume she believes in a religious fanatic’s ‘liberty’ to scare teens into thinking they are going to hell for making a decision that was their only healthy option. Statements like this should be prefaced with ‘in my opinion’ or the like, and not presented as factual. If that were the case, then actually, maybe I agree with the radical feminists. They propose a CHOICE about what happens to women’s bodies. Also, if Sebelius was truly “delivering beyond the hopes and dreams of the radical feminist movement“, as Giroux believes, she would have found a way to take over Obama’s presidency and ousted all the male members of the U.S. government.Well…maybe she is still working on that one.

I once watched an airing of a political roundtable show with Bill Maher, but Ashton Kutcher was on. They were discussing Proposition 8, which had religious and non-religious guests all caught up. Kutcher was the only one who stepped back and redirected the argument to the true issue. He said, and I am paraphrasing here, “I don’t care what your spiritual beliefs are, it should not interfere with our government” I absolutely agree. We get so caught up in whether it has a place in the government that we are not looking deeper into the issues themselves.

Well, here’s my statement, “RELIGION HAS NO PLACE IN THE HEALTHCARE SYSTEM.” If you started to allow religion into the health care system, you should not be able to discriminate against any religion in particular. What about religions that don’t believe in accepting medical treatment? If my husband was dying and could only be saved by medical intervention, you’re damn skippy I’d be signing on the dotted line ASAP. Anyone ever think that the way ‘God will take care of us’ is by creating the practice of medicine in the first place? I’m sure I’m not the first.

It is just so unfortunate that what Giroux had to say next had already been overshadowed by these Obama bashing statements.

  • Since 1975, there has been a 400 percent increase in breast cancer among pre-menopausal women. This mirrors the increased use of birth control over these same years.
  • A Mayo Clinic study confirms that any girl or woman who is on hormonal birth control for four years prior to her first full-term pregnancy increases her breast cancer risk by 52 percent.
  • Women who use hormonal birth control for more than five years are four times more likely to develop cervical cancer.
  • The International Agency for Research on Cancer, an arm of the World Health Organization, classifies all forms of hormonal contraception as Group 1 carcinogens. This group of cancer-causing agents also includes cigarettes and asbestos. How is it that the Food and Drug Administration can require cigarette manufacturers to place warning labels and photos of corpses on cigarette packages to warn consumers of the health dangers while they take the equally harmful substance of hormonal birth control and force companies to give it away free to women of all ages?

On these issues, I agree with the nurse. People are not fully presented with what hormone based contraception can do to a woman’s body. I know they reeked complete havoc on mine. I’m still suffering from the effects. We also haven’t even delved into the catastrophic environmental effects! But these are facts mixed in with a biased commentary. Yes, I know some women need to take the pill for conditions like PCOS, but that is a much smaller percent of the population than are already taking it.

Statements like, “The Obama administration wants to give all women access to these carcinogens free of charge. Will cancer treatments soon be called “preventive,” too? Who will pay for them? Breast cancer is not discriminatory. It attacks women of all faiths, race and age.” are harmful and ridiculous. As if Obama would ever knowingly pass out carcinogens to the people of his country. If you want to be a true proponent of women’s health, don’t get caught up in slanderous statements. I’ve looked past all these slights and slander to see the message of the dangers of contraception for women. Something needs to be done about it, certainly. Women are dying by the hands of things that are supposed to help them and the doctors dispensing them are not telling them the whole truth. Maybe they, themselves aren’t even aware of it. Instead of focusing on imagined, malicious intent of world leaders, let’s focus on educating the masses. BE THE CHANGE and go tell a loved one you know is on the pill about these statistics and facts. I’ve told all of you and I hope it makes a difference.

What are your thoughts on the proposition to dispense contraceptives to women free of charge? (I know I won’t have to ask for opinions on the religion in health care issue. 🙂 )

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About msjenniferwalker

I'm a Jenn of all trades, as long as they are creative and fulfilling. I'm an actress, writer, photographer and all around social person. I love to learn, travel, meet new people and have new experiences.

Posted on February 20, 2012, in Information, Opinion and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 11 Comments.

  1. It seems the increased risk in cancer varies by individual. Personally, I’ve know women who have had problems with the hormones and some who have not. I’ve known a number of women who benefit significantly from their use due to debilitating menstraul cycles.

    While there may be increases in some cancers they seem to be marginally significant. And there are also some cancer risk that is reduced through their use (ovarian cancer, for example).

    It’s my understanding that there are different hormones used across the spectrum of contraceptions. It may well be that some hormones increase or decrease risks depending on the cancers being discussed.

    I came across a couple of links that may be of interest as well;
    http://www.cancer.gov/cancertopics/factsheet/Risk/oral-contraceptives
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3055790/

    And from that nurse’s quote, ““Just days after the inauguration, Mr. Obama began an aggressive assault on morality, liberty and women’s health. ”

    She makes it sound like Obama was on an all out assault on women here but wasn’t one of his first actions was to sign a fair pay for women bill? I know it’s off the subject of health but it does counter the opinion that he was acting against women in general.

    As far as your question about free contraception, I’d say it’s a good idea given how many women utilize it for a variety of health reasons and it tends to be fairly expensive without some sort of coverage.

    Interesting post! Thanks 🙂

  2. A lot of things to respond to in this great post! Unfortunately, in our world, I think many choices we make (especially in health) are often about minimizing various forms of risk, not eliminating it. The use of hormonal contraceptives puts more power into the hands of women to manage their pregnancy risk – something which can be very empowering for the most vulnerable women (I’m thinking globally here). While I agree that hormonal contraceptives may be problematic, it is important to keep in mind that the drugs have come a VERY long way since 1975. My father did research relating to the pill around that time and the hormone doses used to be 4-6 times what they are now. The stats that you quote are impressive, but unless those studies controlled for age, our ability to detect cancer, all other factors that may be related to both cancer and taking birth control, and the change in the drugs since then (and controlling for all these things is likely impossible), they cannot be interpreted as fact or predictive of what young women started on the pill now may face. So I caution against an all-out panic. However, they are scary! And they definitely reinforce the idea that women should be as informed as possible about the health care choices they make. Personally I am on the lowest hormone birth control available because without it I suffer debilitating cramps that last for days and severe PMS mood swings (which are problematic given my issues with depression). Nothing else helps – although my mother had informed me that she had similar issues which stopped upon childbirth. But since I’m definitely not ready for that (!), I chose to be on this medication knowing the risks and the benefits.
    Great post!

    • Thanks for the comment! I agree that stats can be deceptive, I wish I knew where she sourced her information from so I could see what was controlled but alas…people with agendas don’t often care about that.
      I did know that the pills of that era were much stronger, but another factor to consider is the amount of estrogens just floating around in our environment that weren’t there in the 1970s.
      – BPAs and other xenoestrogens
      – the heavy use of Soy in processed/refined foods turning many of them into phytoestrogens
      – the hormones in the environment that have been circulating since the invention of the pill that we’ve been peeing into the world that has effects like genderless crocodiles

      Ah, were I a super rich person who could conduct research studies free of bias!

  3. I wouldn’t have expected it from Ashton Kutcher, but good for him. He’s right about keeping religion out of government, and out of health care, certainly at the policy level. Thanks for publishing that quote.

    If a person wants to let his or her religious beliefs dictate what kind of medical care, treatment, procedures, and medications he or she receives, that person may do so with my blessing. But that person has no business getting involved in my choices.

    Much of what gets said about increased risks of cancer from birth control comes from people who are determined to prevent women from accessing safe and legal medical procedures like abortion and even safe and effective contraceptive medications (like birth control pills) and devices (like IUDs).

    MPBulletin, above, is correct – all drugs have risks, but many have offsetting benefits. The person making the decision, carefully weighing the facts, should be a woman and her doctor at the one-on-one level, NOT politicians and NOT religious leaders.

    [Nor should a person making a decision about birth control, or any kind of health care, take advice, no matter how well-intentioned, from any of our blogs! I’m a big believer in sharing my personal experience, but my anecdotal evidence and selective links to other articles & sources are no substitute for real medical advice! 🙂 ]

    The assault on women is not coming from the Obama administration. It is coming from fundamentalist clerics and totalitarian politicians, as well as the right wing faction of the pundit class that has become the echo chamber for them.

    /soapbox

    • Excellent points, Andie. I do also agree that no one should be making decisions solely based on a blog with a few links. That’s why I have the little disclaimer on the side, I’m no medical professional! Also, I generally get my information from books written by or with medical professionals who don’t seem to be so biased! lol I do, however, believe that people can become better informed about subjects before they talk about them with their doctors. I know that I’ve come across pill pushing doctors that if I hadn’t know a lot about hormones, they would have sent my body into a complete tailspin. One doctor wanted to put me on anti-depressants when the unknown problem was actually an ovarian cyst. Doctors are not infallible either. Go in to see your doctor prepared (and by no means a hypochondriac!!!) and you will get better results, that’s my philosophy. 🙂

      • Absolutely – and hope you didn’t think I was taking a swipe at your blog with that. I definitely fortify with research before seeing the doctor, and have come across too many doctors who don’t ask enough questions so can’t give adequate advice or phone it in with a one-size-fits-all outlook.

      • Totally didn’t feel that way, I just like to remind people of the disclaimer when I can. Just in case! lol Cheers!

    • Just read the links posted by mpbulletin. You should looks at those studies, they are really informative. 🙂

  4. OK, sorry for my little rant there. I try to keep a space set aside for my own health (physical & mental!) in my blogging, but all of the crazy assaults on women are making it hard to focus on my little corner of health & happiness! 😀

  1. Pingback: It’s Mainly Medical, Not Moral | Elene Explores

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