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Medical Primer on the RH Bill

Medical Primer on the RH Bill

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Published by CBCP for Life

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Published by: CBCP for Life on May 24, 2011
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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The Consolidated Reproductive Health Billin the House of Representatives
Dr. Angelita Miguel-Aguirre, M.D., FPCP
Fellow and Diplomate,
 Philippine College of Physicians
Professor 1,
University of Santo Tomas, Dept. of Medicine and Dept. of Bioethics
Chairperson, Committee on Ethics,
 Makati Medical Society
Society of Catholic Social Scientists, Steubenville, Ohio (
)National Catholic Bioethics Center (NCBC) Boston (
 Medical Issues
Does reproductive health promote and protect the health of women?
The “modern methods” of family planning referred to are birth control pills,intrauterine device (IUD), barrier methods (condoms/diaphragms) and sterilization(ligation for women and vasectomy for men).
Birth Control Pills
Birth control pills (BCP) have been largely promoted as a panacea for womeninterested in family planning yet even its promoters agree that when they claimthat it is ‘safe’, it does not mean that it has no adverse effects. Indeed there arenumerous side effects which unfortunately are not made known to the generalpublic. For example on top of numerous studies showing its carcinogenicproperties since the development of the synthetic estrogens in 1938 by Sir EdwardCharles Dodds finally the International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) ofthe World Health Organization (WHO) announced on July 29, 2005 that
 after athorough 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 I category. This category is used when there is sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in humans.)
Prior to this, a respected journalist from Columbia University, Barbara Seamanafter years of research, published books exposing estrogen’s detrimental effecton the health of women notable among them
The Doctor’s Case Against the Pill 
The Greatest Experiment Ever Performed on Women. Exploding the Estrogen Myth.
is a co-founder of the National Women’s Health Networ
a women’s advocacy group in Washington D.C. that refuses money from thedrug industry as part of its charter.
The listed major adverse effects of the pill on women1. Cancers, Heart Attacks and Strokes
Breast cancer, cervical cancer, liver cancer, premature hypertension andcoronary artery disease resulting in heart attacks and strokes,thromboembolism / pulmonary embolism. Other adverse effects are decreased
 Medical Issues
libido, infertility, leg cramps, gallstone formation, nausea, bloatedness, etc.Although some women may notice improvement in their complexion othersmay develop acne with it. It is claimed to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer. Butevidently this is outweighed by its numerous risks for more common forms ofcancer. Unfortunately the side effects mostly discussed with potential usersare simply headaches, increased weight or increased appetite or other minor side effects to qualify for ‘informed choice’. In the U.S. when the pill is advertisedall these adverse effects are disclosed at the end of the advertisement for ‘informed choice’ but in developing countries women suffer from these sideeffects without knowing that this hormone was responsible for it. [They do notwarn about its being a potential abortifacient because abortion is legal anddone at practically ALL stages of pregnancy.]The top three causes of mortality in our country are 1
– Diseases of theHeart 2
-Disease of the Vascular System and 3
– Malignant Neoplasm. Weshould know how many of these casualties are women who suffered from theadverse effects of synthetic estrogen as they do in developed countries. Pleasetake note that next to lung cancer, breast cancer is the most common cause ofmalignancy in our country and only 5 to 10 % of those women who developbreast CA have genetic predisposition.
 [Indonesia has looked into the risk of breast cancer among Indonesian women by age at first use of the pill (Bustan Contraception 1993). For women whostarted at age 22 and below they have been found to have a 210% risk, for women 22-26, 70 % and for 27 and up 60% risk of developing breast CA.]
2. Other effects of Birth Control Pills - it works as a chemicalabortifacient
Although the primary effect of the BCP is1.to prevent ovulation and2.to change the cervical mucus which increases the difficulty of sperm entryinto the uterus, in 1978 (sometime after abortion became legal in the U.S.in January 1973), a third effect has been listed in drug references andtextbooks of pharmacology that is

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