Archive for Depo-Provera

Planned Parenthood Will Push Injectable Contraceptives on Zambian Girls and Women

Posted in African Countries, African Nations, Depo-Provera, Planned Parenthood African Nations with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 13, 2014 by saynsumthn

H/T Turtle Bay/ March 12, 2014 by Lisa Correnti

Despite scientific research finding women using the contraceptive Depo Provera are at higher risk to transmit HIV/AIDS and develop breast cancer, Planned Parenthood plans to widely distribute the injectable to women in Zambia.

Abortion advocates are lauding the Zambian governments decision to create, for the first time, a line item within the country’s budget for the procurement of contraceptive supplies – $9.3 million.

The successful advocacy which led to securing the funding from the Zambian government, is being attributed to the Planned Parenthood Association of Zambia (PPAZ) from a $50,000 advocacy grant awarded to them.

The advocacy grants flow from the Advance Family Planning initiative established through the UK Family Planning Summit in July 2012, which partnered with Melinda Gates and the United Nations Population Fund. The goal of the summit was to secure commitments from pharmaceutical companies, Foundations, and governments to scale-up the delivery of modern methods of contraceptive to 120 million women and girls in low-income countries by 2020 – $4.6 billion was committed.

The Fund is part of a 5-year AFP project providing grants to reproductive rights groups – like Planned Parenthood, to target high birth rate countries to secure these governments financial investment and political commitment to assure access to contraceptives, especially long-acting methods like injectables. The same groups receiving funding for advocacy will later receive funding for the distribution of the contraceptives.

Planned Parenthood of Zambia Executive Director Edford G. Mutuma said next on the agenda was to increase the distribution of injectable contraceptives through community health workers.

Read rest here

For an in depth view of why Planned Parenthood targets these nation’s watch the film Maafa21 – here http://www.maafa21.com

The push for world-wide population Control came from Margaret Sanger and Alan Guttmacher at Planned Parenthood and is directed by the US NSSM Memorandum ( read here)

Planned Parenthood uses Black Woman to push Depo-Provera

Posted in Depo-Provera, Planned Parenthood and Black Women, Planned Parenthood Contraception, Planned Parenthood Depro with tags , , , , , , on December 3, 2013 by saynsumthn

Planned Parenthood pushes Depro with black womanJPG

The largest provider of abortions, founded in Eugenics and Racism is selling Birth Control and specifically the racist Depo-Provera using a black woman.

According to the Rebecca Project, Planned Parenthood, one of the largest distributors and providers of Depo Provera in the US and internationally, recklessly promots Depo Provera to a target audience of women of color and asking this question on their website: “What are the Benefits of the Birth Control Shot?” and answering: “There is nothing to do right before having sex”. When in fact using Depo Provera especially warrants condom use before having sex to avoid increased risks of HIV, as verified by esteemed BMGF and NIH funded researcher, Renee Heffron. Furthermore, Planned Parenthood violates medical ethics and FDA regulations by fraudulently promoting an off-label claim: “The shot [Depo Provera] can help prevent cancer of the lining of the uterus” However, a search of Depo Provera’s FDA approval does not list the contraceptive as a cancer prevention drug. Moreover, while making those false claims about Depo Provera, Planned Parenthood further violates FDA regulations by not posting and informing women of mandatory FDA Depo Provera warnings this together with other egregious violations of federal law, demonstrates Planned Parenthood’s intent to misinform and conceal serious harm from women. This systematic fraudulent promotion and illegal rebranding of Depo Provera supported by BMGF, Pfizer, Population Council and USAID, while receiving Medicaid payments and other disbursements from the US government in forms of grants and payments for family planning, is illegal under the False Claims Act (FCA), 31 U.S.C. §§ 3729 – 3733 (details discussed on page 14 -15).

Planned Parenthood pushes Depro

According to University of Cincinnati historian Wendy Kline, the Depro testing of the 1970s at Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital Family Planning Clinic involved mostly black women in public assistance.

Kline’s research into the debate surrounding Depo-Provera in the 1970s and 1980s began when she was visiting the Smith College Women’s History Archive where she found a large box of materials still unprocessed and not yet catalogued. This was among 50 to 60 boxes from the National Women’s Health Network.

She recalled, “The box contained hundreds of individual files, each detailing a woman’s difficulties with the side effects of Depo-Provera or detailing how she had not been informed of those side effects or detailing how she had been given the injection without her consent or by means of manipulation. This coercion, lack of informed consent and testing of the drug has obviously been gathered together in preparation for a class-action suit by the National Women’s Health Network that had never gone forward.”

But the collection did provide Kline with a rich source of material of examining the history of this contraceptive and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s public board of inquiry on Depo-Provera held in 1983.

“The use of Depo-Provera captures all of the controversy of this century regarding controlling fertility and who’s ultimately making the decision about who gets to reproduce. My research looks at coercion, risks not fully understood and how arguments were made for and against Depo-Provera at the time,” she explained.

For instance, it was in the Depo-Provera hearings in Washington that the manufacturer and those in favor of the drug had to first contend with the greater organizational powers and force of the feminist movement – but where that feminist movement had to argue its case by focusing narrowly on the flaws in the scientific research methodology applied when testing Depo-Provera.

In other words, those combating the use of Depo-Provera could not make a case against the drug based on morality or sentiment even though it could easily have been argued that this was a case of eugenics since the testing of the drug in the 1970s at Atlanta’s Grady Memorial Hospital Family Planning Clinic involved mostly black women in public assistance.

Instead, because of FDA strictures related to evidence supplied at its board of inquiry hearings, opponents of the drug had to channel their arguments on the science then available on Depo-Provera.

“Of course,” said Kline, “It was and is very difficult to separate science from the society that produced it. There was a reason, given the understood risks of Depo-Provera, that its testing was done on poor women in the U.S. and on women in developing countries.”

According to C-Fam, the Melinda Gates’ campaign targeting African women with a new form of the contraceptive Depo Provera has provoked a coalition of Black religious leaders and human rights advocates. They are asking the U.S. Congress to stop funding the distribution of the injectable contraceptive overseas.

The leaders, who support abortion and contraception, say women of color and low-income women suffer severe health issues from Depo Provera. A new self-administered version puts women at further risk as it will be delivered without them being fully informed of the drug’s potential side effects. The contraceptive carries the potential to contract or transmit HIV at an eight-fold higher rate.

The wife of billionaire Bill Gates recently told the New York Times that she championed family planning after meeting with poor women in developing countries. The women wanted a contraceptive that comes in a shot, Gates said, because they could not negotiate condom use without implying that either they or their husbands had AIDS.

Kwame Fosu says Melinda Gates’ claim that women want Depo Provera is “disingenuous.”

“No African woman would agree to being injected if she had full knowledge of the contraceptives’ dangerous side effects,” Fosu told the Friday Fax. Fosu is policy director for the Rebecca Project for Human Rights.

“In fact,” he continued, “in countries where women are educated on the harmful complications, Depo Provera use is negligible.”

Gates’ comments illustrate an on-going conflict between public health officials’ efforts to contain the AIDS epidemic and family planning advocates who favor long-acting hormonal contraceptives to prevent pregnancy. Unlike condoms, these methods do nothing to prevent HIV transmission.

In the case of Depo Provera, the risks of HIV transmission actually increase, according to data published in The Lancet. The World Health Organization strongly advises that women using progestogen-only injectable contraception also use condoms. Planned Parenthood – one of the largest international distributors of Depo Provera – does not recommend condom use nor do they disclose potential side effects.

According to feminist, Erica Gollub, Depo-Provera, was manufactured by the Upjohn Corporation of Kalamazoo, Michigan has been a source of controversy since its entry into the market in the late 1970s.

In 1978, the FDA found the injectable drug too dangerous for use by American women. FDA’s decision was based on a study done by Upjohn at the agency’s request, which found that rhesus monkeys and beagles injected with the drug developed cancer.

But the agency came under heavy fire from other governmental and private agencies involved in the drug’s distribution in the Third World. Led by the Agency for International Development (AID), these groups feared the impact of the FDA decision on the “image” of Depo and family planning programs abroad. They also opposed any constraints on its overseas distribution.

After years of delay, the FDA finally agreed to hearings on the drug. From the beginning, Upjohn insisted on a scientific inquiry, an approach that limited the scope of issues considered – particularly the more significant ethical and policy considerations raised by the use and promotion of the drug. Nevertheless, evidence presented by opponents of the drug showed that Depo-Provera is considerably more dangerous than Upjohn is willing to admit.

Dr. Christopher Rhodes, called to testify by the National Women’s Health Network, listed the “constellation of defects” that women can experience, ranging from severe menstrual irregularities to permanent sterility to high blood pressure and blood clots. Sybil Shainwal, president of the Network, accused Upjohn of “risking the health of American women with a drug that has never been proven safe.” Public Citizen’s Health Research Group charged that “no reliable studies” have been done on the long-term use of Depo on humans.

In defense, Upjohn cited the conclusions of “three international panels of experts” associated with AID and the World Health Organization. These groups claim that animal studies – the basis of nearly all the evidence on Depo – are “inappropriate” for judging the drug’s effects on women.

But Steve Minkin, former Chief Officer of Nutrition at AID quoted studies from the Office of Technology Assessment and the National Research Council affirming the reliability of animals in cancer research. Minkin worked with some of the first Depo users in Bangladesh in 1979.

National Women’s Health Network witness Dr. Ruth Shearer also disagreed with Upjohn’s “experts.” A cancer and genetics expert, Shearer charged that the AID and WHO groups “were not impartial panels of concerned scientists. They represent organizations which have been responsible for widespread use of Depo Provera.” If they admitted to the hazardous nature of the drug, she said, they “would be admitting their responsibility for future massive human illness.”

Another issue raised at the hearings concerned the use of Depo on women whom doctors say cannot be “trusted” with other forms of contraception. Depo critics have charged that the drug has been used on “powerless groups” such as mentally retarded women and welfare mothers. At the hearings, witnesses described two groups recently “targeted” by doctors: the predominantly Hispanic population at University of Southern California Medical Center in Los Angeles, and the “SS-95%” Black population at Grady Memorial Hospital in Atlanta.

According to Dr. Robert Hatcher of Grady, 11,000 women have been treated with Depo at his hospital since 1967. Usage started several years before any animal testing had taken place.

Dr. Sidney Wolfe of the Health Research Group found this double standard of safety “morally offensive and unacceptable.” Mentally retarded women, said Wolfe, are “the least appropriate candidates for a contraceptive such as Depo-Provera. (They) are the least likely to be able to weigh the benefits and the risks of the drug and give true informed consent.”

But Dr. Hatcher and other family planning practitioners said that their consent form and information booklet accompanying the shot justifies the use of the drug. “Our booklet mentions 11 problems related to Depo-Provera,” Hatcher said. He reasoned that as long as women “know” what they’re getting, the injection should be used.

Dr. Wolfe, however, pointed out that “the whole question of informed consent is a moot question” since the full extent of risk is still unknown. Another witness cited how the drug is administered at one clinic in northern Thailand, where women “are processed in from 60 to 90 seconds,” with little time for “amenities” like consent.

Some population officials used the consent argument to attack the opponents of Depo. Dr. Malcolm Potts of Family Health International said that anti-Depo forces “oppose people having a choice” in contraception. “I see modes of contraception like modes of transportation,” said Potts, and compared Depo with a Volkswagon: “It’s sturdy, dependable, it might rattle and does have some problems, but it should be available.”

But health activists countered that these same “pro-choice” officials spend little time and money promoting the safer, barrier methods of contraception, and often endorse money or food “incentives” for Third World women “choosing injection or sterilization”. “Their priority,” said one activist, “is expediency in population control.

A number of consumer, women’s and human rights groups are mobilizing to stop the spread of Depo-Provera. The National Women’s Health Network maintains a registry of women having received unauthorized shots of Depo, which they say circulates in the blood for three months or longer. The Network recently announced their intention to sue Upjohn for compensation to women injured by the drug.

United Presbyterian Church and the Maryknoll Fathers, members of the Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility, have recently submitted a shareholder resolution to Upjohn concerning Depo. Other groups working on the issue include Public Citizen’s Health Research Group and the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective.

Whatever the outcome of the Depo hearings, Upjohn has little to lose and much to gain. FDA approval would mean greater sales for the company on a product whose annual sales already exceed $25 million.

Depo-Provera dangers in Eugenics

Posted in Depo-Provera, John C. Cutler, Pfizer, Planned Parenthood and Eugenics, Population Council, Rockefeller, United Nations, USAID with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2013 by saynsumthn

In June 2013, Rebecca Project for Human Rights published a policy report: Depo-Provera: Deadly Reproductive Violence. Kwame Fosu, Policy Director for the Rebecca Project for Human Rights explains, “this is a definitive report that details incidents of misconduct by Pfizer major health providers.” In addition, the Rebecca Project analysis also examines reported concerns of Depo Provera research in Ghana.

Pastor Lennox Abrigo, who is President, National Action Network DC Chapter, and President of the Civil & Human Rights Depo Provera Coalition said, “this Depo Provera briefing is going to be a respectful, thoughtful discussion about the dignity and health of Black women, and women of color, in the United States and globally. Our community’s harm and voices have to be heard by our elected leaders, Pfizer, Planned Parenthood and all Public Health institutions that continue to promote this dangerous drug without Black Box warnings.”

According to the report:

The governmental imprimatur is supplied by the pro-Depo Provera policies of the USAID. This policy provides the cover for private foundation money, and our government policy is influenced and advocated by the Population Council, Planned Parenthood and population control advocates, ostensibly advocating for a woman’s right to choose. To
administer Depo Provera injections, especially if one is receiving federal funding, Medicaid and USAID payments, without enforcing full information requirements about side-effects and harm, robs millions of women of their dignity and fundamental civil rights, denying them of their inalienable right to be free to reject a dangerous drug and choose safer contraceptives. BMGF, Planned Parenthood, Pfizer and Depo Provera advocates constructively arrogate to themselves a separate standard of regulatory oversight. They illegally promote and administer Depo Provera by concealing its danger, minimizing fatal harm to women and making false claims with impunity. They are legally required to disclose side effects of Depo Provera and other drugs with Black Box warnings to patients/consumers.

In 2004, the FDA identifying that Depo Provera causes serious side-effects8 issued a Black Box Warning.

UNETHICAL DEPO PROVERA EXPERIMENTS
UNITED STATES:
1967-1978: The largest test on humans of Depo-Provera begins and is conducted for eleven years through the Grady Clinic in Atlanta, Georgia on 14,000 low income women. These “trials” were conducted on women human subjects without being aware of the fact that they were part of an experiment; and, the researchers deliberately did not inform the women participants that Depo Provera had grave side effects. Many women developed cancer and/or died during the trials, but these cases were not reported to the FDA.

The director of the study, Robert Hatcher, further violated the law refusing to submit an annual report during the entire study. Women with medical conditions, such as cancer, were still given the shot. Record keeping on the clients was sloppy and more than 13,000 women had no follow-up44 (Committee on Women, Population, & the Environment).
GHANA:

The African continent has been a theater for unregulated, unethical human experimentation and turpitudinous malpractice, without informed consent forms (sample) normally provided to American women. In a seminal family planning experiment, discussed in the Rebecca Project Human Rights’ 2011 report: The Outsourcing of Tuskegee:
Nonconsensual Research in Africa46, researchers experimented with Depo Provera on approximately 9,000 impoverished women in Navrongo, Ghana. The Navrongo Experiment47 occurred in Navrongo, Ghana (1999-2006, Funded by: USAID/Population Council/Rockefeller Foundation). Dr. James Phillips and Population Council researchers violated US research laws by withholding informed consent forms from the women they used as human subjects and injected with Depo Provera. The African women in Navrongo were told they were being provided with routine healthcare, while data was specifically collected and analyzed for the research experiment and published by Dr. James Phillips et al.

Furthermore, the Navrongo Experiment was designed by Dr. James Phillips who deliberately fabricated and falsified research data for desired outcomes. Phillips co-published with Dr. Binka and other compensated Ghanaian doctors who are knowledgeable and/or complicit in this fraud.

Presently, Dr. Phillips serves on the faculty of the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University and his research fraud spans from Africa to Southern Asia. The problem with Columbia University and USAID supporting Phillips’ extensive research fraud in Africa is, as with the Tuskegee Experiment (conducted by Dr. John Cutler with the United States Public Health Service- PHS), and the Guatemala Experiment51 (also Dr. John Cutler with PHS), is that Dr. Phillips’ fraudulent Navrongo research is routinely referenced in UN and US documents as valid family-planning policy. USAID is fully aware that informed consent was not provided (the Rebecca Project provided details to the DHHS, DOJ, and USAID) and that violates US ethical research IRB procedures52 and international law. Fabricated research outcomes and unethical experiments should not be referenced in official US policy. U.S. drug companies and U.S. researchers have effectively outsourced the Tuskegee Experiment and routinely conduct nonconsensual and/or unethical research in Africa and the developing world. Pfizer v. Abdullahi directly confronted the issue. In a July 2009 ruling, a U.S. Court of Appeals found that the prohibition of non-consensual medical experimentation on humans is binding under customary international law, thereby allowing Trovan victims in Nigeria the right to seek relief against Pfizer in U.S. courts. In June 2010, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected Pfizer’s appeal after the U.S. Acting Solicitor General, Neal Katyal, submitted his brief
urging the court to deny Pfizer’s petition.

Read More

Congressman William Lacy Clay and the Congressional Black Caucus held a briefing to examine a comprehensive report released by the Rebecca Project.

Panelists at the briefing called for an end to the federal funding of Depo Provera and for accountability for healthcare administers that fail to inform women of the “black box warning” issued by the drug’s manufacturer Pfizer.

Many foreign governments that fund Depo Provera for use in Africa now prohibit the unethical administering of the drug and require women have full knowledge of potential health risks prior to receiving the shot, however, according to the Rebecca Project the U.S. has yet to enforce such mandatory guidelines in their distribution of Depo Provera through overseas health contractors.

Even more egregious, USAID, Gates, Rockefeller and Mellon Foundations, and the Population Council funded a Depo Provera trial (1994-2006) on 9,000 poor women in Ghana without disclosing they were being used for a reproductive health experiment.

Long before Depo Provera received FDA approval in the U.S. – USAID directed funding overseas for its use on women in poor developing countries.

Depo Provera was denied FDA approval three times before the FDA approved the contraceptive for domestic use in 1992. This was after regulations were changed requiring clinical trials in rats and mice instead of the dogs and monkeys from previous tests that showed high frequency of cancer.

Despite calls from a coalition of Black religious leaders and human rights activists USAID and partners — the Gates Foundation, DFID, UNFPA, and PATH, continue to direct millions for the distribution of Depo Provera to poor women in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

Depo Provera side effects listed in the Rebecca Project report:

In 2004, the FDA identifying that Depo Provera causes serious side-effects issued a Black Box Warning stating: (1) women may lose significant bone mineral density that is not fully reversible and, therefore, (2) Depo Provera should not be used as a long-term birth control method for more than two years. Other serious side effects, with mandated Patient Counseling and Information are: (3) blood clots in arms, legs, lungs, and eyes, (4) stroke, (5) bleeding irregularities, (6) weight gain, (7) ectopic pregnancy, and (8) delayed return to fertility and lack of return to fertility. (9) In addition, scientific research in 2012 reported that women using Depo Provera have double the risk of developing breast cancer.

Study: birth control shot linked to memory loss

Posted in birth control, Birth Control Dangers with tags , , , , , on November 8, 2011 by saynsumthn

by Thaddeus BaklinskiMon Nov 07, 2011 13:50 EST

PHOENIX, Arizona, November 7, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Research at Arizona State University (ASU) has found that the synthetic progestin hormone medroxyprogesterone acetate (MPA), used in the injectable contraceptive Depo Provera, is linked to memory loss.

Psychology doctoral student Blair Braden and Heather Bimonte-Nelson, associate professor of psychology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and director of the Bimonte-Nelson Memory and Aging Lab at ASU, led the study.

This study was an extension of earlier research carried out by Braden that implicated MPA used as a component of hormone therapy for menopause to possible detrimental cognitive effects in women.

This earlier study, published in 2010 in Neurobiology of Learning and Memory, showed that MPA impaired memory in menopausal-aged rats.

The current study specifically looked at MPA in relation to the Depo Provera birth control injection.

In a press release from ASU, Bimonte-Nelson said she and Braden began asking questions about the effects of the drug because Braden was concerned about friends taking MPA as a contraceptive, and wondered whether the drug would have the same memory-impairing effects when taken by young women.

“This is an important question, because what we are going to have in our future are women who are menopausal that also have a history of taking MPA as birth control when they were younger,” said Bimonte-Nelson.

Read Rest here

Contraceptive Dangers Rising Concern Over Side Effects

Posted in Abortion pill, birth control, Birth Control Dangers with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 15, 2010 by saynsumthn

Note- This came out in 2005- research has been done to prove further dangers since:

WASHINGTON, D.C., JAN. 8, 2005 (Zenit.org).- Even as governments and family planning groups continue to push contraceptives, new evidence is coming forward on their dangerous side effects. In England, the minister for children, Margaret Hodge, declared that she was in favor of injectable contraceptives for schoolgirls, BBC reported Nov. 16.

“What is really interesting is this contraceptive injection,” she declared. “If people are having sex, you don’t want them to have babies at that age.”

Hodge’s enthusiasm for contraceptives flies in the face of scientific warnings. On Aug. 23 Reuters reported on research by a team from the University of North Carolina and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Women who use the injected contraceptive Depo-Provera have a higher rate of sexually transmitted diseases, they concluded.

Charles Morrison, of Family Health International, said that more study is needed, but it is possible that Depo-Provera itself causes a susceptibility to sexually transmitted diseases. “We did adjust for differences in condom use, differences in multiple partners, differences in the number of sexual coital acts,” he told Reuters.

Depo-Provera is also under scrutiny by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The agency has now stipulated that the drug must carry a special warning that prolonged use can cause significant loss of bone density, the Associated Press reported Nov. 17.

Shortly after the FDA announcement, another study confirmed the problem of bone loss due to Depo-Provera, Reuters reported Dec. 23. Researchers from the University of Iowa compared 178 women using the injectable with 145 women not using hormonal contraception.

Average bone density at the hip fell 2.8% one year after starting Depo-Provera and 5.8% after two years. Loss of bone density in the spine was similar. This compares to average bone loss of less than 0.9% among the control group.

Deadly side effects

Another contraceptive with troubling consequences is the so-called patch. Last April 4 the New York Post reported on the case of 18-year-old Zakiya Kennedy, who died as a result of blood clots, formed as a result of her patch contraceptive. She had switched from using birth-control pills to the patch about three weeks before her death.

The newspaper followed this up with a Sept. 19 report tying the Ortho Evra patch, the only kind marketed in the United States, to the deaths of at least 17 women in the past two years. The article added that scores of other women using the patch have suffered complications, including 21 “life-threatening” cases of blood clots and other ailments. The data came from FDA reports obtained by the newspaper.

The article added that the manufacturer claims the patch has been used by 4 million American women since it went on sale in 2002. A company spokesman commented that the illnesses and deaths are “consistent with the health risks” of the pill, which it says kills 0.3 to 1.9 women in every 100,000 users ages 15 to 29.

Concerns over the health risks of another contraceptive forced the FDA to step in a few days ago to correct a TV commercial. Reuters reported Dec. 30 that the FDA warned Barr Pharmaceuticals that its ads for Seasonale pills failed to mention the side effect of frequent and substantial bleeding.

The FDA warned the company that the commercial misleads consumers by excluding this information, to make the birth control pill seem safer. The warning came in a letter to the company released by the FDA on Dec. 29. In addition to the bleeding problems the pill’s label warns that other side effects can include blood clots, heart attack and stroke. But the commercials, observed the FDA, use “compelling visuals” and “fast-paced scene changes” along with other techniques that distract from warning information.

Good news proved false

One recent report at first seemed to disprove health worries over contraceptives. The British newspaper Guardian on Oct. 26 noted that some studies had concluded that the pill could help protect women from heart disease and strokes. Plus, another study of women in America concluded that the pill did not increase the risk of breast or cervical cancer.

These results were presented at the American Society of Reproductive Medicine conference in Philadelphia last October. The data came from the ongoing Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) study, which is tracking a group of more than 160,000 women.

The report in the Guardian was skeptical about the positive news. It noted that the WHI study had previously reported data linking hormone replacement treatment to an increased risk of breast cancer, heart disease and strokes. The contraceptive pill and HRT are practically the same, the article noted.

The doubts proved to be prescient. On Nov. 27 the London-based Times reported that the WHI had subsequently rejected the findings drawn from its data and demanded a retraction.

Jacques Rossouw, acting director of the WHI, admitted to the Times that the study lacked credibility. “The researchers just looked at base-line data, which is very poor data,” he said. “That is why the findings are so bizarre. These kinds of results are just not credible.”

The Times followed this story up with another article, on Dec. 13, that warned of higher stroke risks for women who take the pill. Based on a study of more than 5,000 people, researchers from Canada, the United State and Spain have concluded that migraine sufferers who take the pill are up to eight times more likely to suffer a stroke than those not using it. The Times added that migraines affect an estimated 6 million people in Britain, with women being more susceptible to the problem.

So-called morning-after pills are also associated with health problems. A July 30 report by Medical News Today summarized the findings of a study published by Dr. Gene Rudd in the September issue of the Annals of Pharmacotherapy.

Last July 22, Barr Laboratories reapplied to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to receive approval for Plan B to be made available over-the-counter, after the FDA’s initial refusal. Rudd’s article contains data arguing that easing access to Plan B would place the health of many women at risk.

Rudd noted that nonprescription access to Plan B would keep many women out of doctors’ offices and away from appropriate, comprehensive care. Additionally, Plan B may encourage more risk-taking behaviors such as “unprotected” sex that increase the spread of sexually transmitted diseases.

Health concerns are not limited to contraceptives. The abortion pill RU-486 has been linked to a number of deaths. A well-known case is the 2003 death of Holly Patterson, an 18-year-old Californian who succumbed to septic shock after taking RU-486.

Holly’s father, Monty Patterson, said that the FDA should ban the abortion pill after a third death was being linked to its use, the Associated Press reported Nov. 16. That same day, the New York Times reported that the FDA has asked that the warning label on the RU-486 be strengthened.

In an opinion article published Nov. 19 in the New York Times, Donna Harrison, an obstetrician-gynecologist and member of the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, accused authorities of having given the green light to the abortion pill in 2000 due to political interference by the Clinton administration.

She explained that documents recently obtained through the Freedom of Information Act reveal that the Clinton administration “pushed to get RU-486 approved before the 2000 election despite the lack of reliable data demonstrating its safety.” That news may have come too late for at least a few RU-486 users.