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Does the “Pill” really make you live longer?

March 14, 2010

Behind the Headlines

I cringed when this story broke last week, not because I feared it would challenge my concerns about oral contraception, but because I knew the headlines would be stored as ammunition in the arsenal of feminists and drug-peddlers.

The headlines about the study were varied but all seemed to communicate the same message: “Birth-Control Pills Cut Cancer, Lengthen Women’s Lives in Study”, “Birth Control Pill Could Fight Cancer, Heart Disease”, “Pill Won’t Shorten Your Life: Study”. Say no more! Sign me up!

But a quick look behind the headlines, revealed far more muddled findings. The study on oral contraception was conducted by the Royal College of General Practitioners and tracked 46,112 women in the U.K. over a period of 39 years. Additional funding was provided by various drug makers including Bayer, Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson (all of which manufacture contraceptives). 

Businessweek reports that: “Women who took the pill were 12 percent less likely to die from any cause during the study.” The study did not show or try to explain causality, only correlation, and it was noted that the population of women on the Pill were more likely to have regular health monitoring than the population of non-users, which could explain the differences in such things as cancer survival rates.  

The supposed “benefits” however, were not evenly spread throughout the population of users. In fact, younger women on the pill actually experienced a higher rate of mortality. “Women under 30 who took the pill had almost a three-fold greater rate of death from any cause than never-users,” as reported by ABC News. In addition, a higher rate of violent and accidental death occurred in women who were on the pill.

Not your Mother’s Pill

What must be noted here, is that the older population in the study, (the women who saw the greatest correlation between pill use and lower mortality rates), for the most part took different types of oral contraception than those most commonly used today. It would therefore be irresponsible to extrapolate the same results from the first generation pill, to the modern-day version.

The newer generation of oral contraceptives are suspect for various reasons. The low-dose, combination, or progesterone only pills used today allow for a higher rate of breakthrough ovulation, thus increasing the chances of the abortifacient effect kicking in and causing a self-induced miscarriage.

Who Cares?

Every drug has risks associated with it, so what is the trouble with hormonal contraception? For the average woman, the birth control is just a small part of her life. She goes about her day, giving little thought to convenience it affords her. And why should she, it’s just a pill, right?

Not to feminists and pro-aborts. Spend any length of time with them and you will soon discover their bizarre love affair with the Pill. Cassie Gavin, and RN who proudly works in abortion care at the Harborview Women’s Clinic (part of UW Medicine) says, “as everybody in my life knows, I’m absolutely fascinated about talking about birth control,” and what she loves about her line of work is that it gives her the opportunity to discuss “contraception for as long as [she’d like].”  

Stand outside a Planned Parenthood and you will see a steady stream of young teenagers going in empty-handed, and coming out a few minutes later with their little brown bag: a permission slip to engage in what Planned Parenthood calls  “sex play”.  Why do abortion providers place an emphasis on contraception? (Hint: It’s not because they are benevolently trying work themselves out of a job.)

Government Sponsored

Our own government, which has forged an unholy union with abortion providers, shares in the contraception obsession. The Public Health Department of Seattle and King County devotes large portions of its website to information on various types of birth control, most of which do nothing to prevent the spread of STDs (and might actually encourage the spread).

In an attempt to push the use of emergency contraception (Plan B), the county website touts: “no prescription needed for people over age 18…and men can get Plan B for their wives, girlfriends, sisters and friends!”  (Ladies: If your man keeps a steady supply of Plan B to feed you after sex…that might be a “red flag”.) Babies, it seems are a public health crisis in the eyes of King County, where 1 in 4 pregnancies end in abortion according to the Washington State Department of Health.

The proliferation of contraceptive use is an overall way to change the culture by separating sex from procreation, and women from fertility. It also encourages more risky sexual behavior, and the abortion industry knows that frequently, oral contraception and other forms of birth control are not used as prescribed, resulting in unwanted pregnancies and the “need” to abort. While it is certainly not true on an individual level, on a cultural level, a society that celebrates, promotes, and pushes contraception is a society that will accept abortion with increasing liberality.

The Fertility-Suppression Industry

It is not just the pro-aborts and feminists who find their identity in the Pill. There is money to be had, and many drug companies and doctors are looking for their piece of the pie. If my personal experience is any indication of the norm, it would seem that one of the first questions women are asked during their annual visit to the doctor is whether they need, want, or are currently using birth control.  Advertisements for hormonal contraception can be seen posted in the doctor’s office and magazines, or even on Facebook and Pandora.

As women, why do we accept the status quo, considering it good and healthy to habitually alter the natural functioning of our hormones and our bodies? We allow others to medicate our fertility as if it were a disease and an affliction, rather than a beautiful gift bestowed uniquely to our sex.

Those who stand to benefit try to distract us from asking these questions. They emphasize the convenience factor, and use headlines and soundbites that suggest longer life and lower risk of cancers, all to hide the emotional, cultural, ethical, and physical risks involved.  Now that’s a hard pill to swallow.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. March 24, 2010 3:42 pm

    Thank you for writing this. Christians are so misinformed about hormonal contraception.
    I’m immensely glad that I found your blog.

    Your description…

    Theologically Reformed.
    Politically Conservative.
    Socially Catholic.

    …matches me perfectly, as well.

    God bless!

    -Your newest follower/fan/reader

    • March 24, 2010 3:47 pm

      Thank you Kortney! What an encouragement to find I’m not the only one 🙂

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