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Birth Control and Womens Health Issues

Birth Control and Womens Health Issues

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Published by Leah Walker

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Published by: Leah Walker on Mar 07, 2012
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01/16/2013

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Birth Control and Women's Health Issues:Should this have been Obama's Priority? The entire debacle over the birth control issue has taken valuable time away fromother, more important discussions, like the economy, people out of work, thepossibility of Iran having nuclear weapons, and the real issues affecting the healthof women. Frankly, I am shocked that anyone, including our President, but moreimportantly his own HHS secretary, Kathleen Sebelius, would think for one secondthat contraception is the issue that should receive this first priority, if any attentionwhatsoever. The Mayo Clinic, a respected medical research, diagnostic and treatment hospital,has outlined the top seven health issues affecting women today [1].Contraceptives availability doesn't even make this short list. What does make theshort list are the things that are actually killing women today: 1) heart disease; 2)cancer; 3) stroke; 4) chronic lower respiratory issues; 5) Alzheimers; 6) accidents;and 7) diabetes.For the record, this list came out in 2011 and was reported in the news by MSNBCso, I would assume the President and his appointees bothered to watch thesereports? Well maybe not. After all, we're too busy ensuring women have access tothe pill and other things, right?But wait! Are contraceptives good for women? If they're so important that thisadministration feels contraceptives take precedence over coronary heart disease[2] then shouldn't these contraceptives be good for women?If you listen to the ads for birth control pills and devices, the one thing you'll note isthat there's always a caveat emptor attached. Yes, all pharmaceutical companiesare now telling people the potential risks of medications, but the list of potentialside-effects seems toxic:
migraines
increased blood pressure
gall bladder disease
decrease in bone density
yeast overgrowth (candida)
increasing risk of blood clots
heart attack
stroke [3]Usually people take medications when the benefits outweigh the risks. But we'renot talking about Digoxin for cardiac patients. We're talking about a drug which, inmost cases, is an “elective” medicine. It's not something taken to keep a personalive or substantially improve an acquired disease.We're talking about something a woman ingests into her body, adding to her risk for
 
some of the various diseases which are killing women now more than ever, and forwhat? So she can safely have nookie?While the nation focused on, the liberals touted, and the President consoled oneSandra Fluke (and it seems no fluke that she just so happened to chose a Universitywhere controversy would be created over this issue) over statements made by oneRush Limbaugh, another woman wasn't able to testify about birth control pills andtheir availability and usefulness. That woman was Nicole McKeon.In 2007, Nicole McKeon, age 31, got up for work as usual and suddenly lost totalcontrol of the left side of her body. She realized she was having a massive stroke. Ahealthy woman, McKeon was rushed to the hospital but the left side of her brainbegan to hemorrhage as well and she died from the massive stroke. The doctorshad tried valiantly to save her, to no avail. What was her risk factor for this stroke?According to the doctors her one and only risk factor was the use of a newgeneration birth control pill called Yasmin. [4]If you watch television long enough, you'll see attorney's offering to representvictims of these birth control pills.Citizens' watch groups, especially those monitoring contraception-relatedmedicines, have long been sounding the warning alarm. But not even the FDA islistening. In 2011 the FDA refused Sidney Wolfe, head of the watchdog group,PRIVATE CITIZEN, a seat at the table to review the dangers of new generation birthcontrol pills, including the medication YAZ. [5]A migraine sufferers support organization has also called attention to dangerssurrounding the Johnson & Johnson “patch” birth control called Ortho-Evra becauseof its direct link to migraine headaches. [6]Ms. Fluke's testimony- one designed to evoke sympathy but not address the actualissue of women in general who use birth control, needs some examination as well.First of all, Ms. Fluke wasn't the “victim”. An unnamed “friend” was. Secondly, thefriend allegedly was paying $100.00 out of pocket for her pills, which wereprescribed for POS or Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. One has to wonder why shewasn't getting her pills via Planned Parenthood or some other sympathetic providerof birth control.In 2010, U.S. News did a story about the cost of birth control pills. The report, citingnone less than Planned Parenthood itself, stated:“According to Planned Parenthood, birth control pills cost between $15 to $50 amonth, depending on health insurance coverage and type of pill. On an annualbasis, that means the Pill costs between $160 to $600.” [7]Someone was either ripping Ms. Fluke's friend off, or someone was playing thehyperbole game. This same report also noted that abstinence, which is totally free,
 
was another birth control option. Gee, imagine!According to the Mayo clinic website, POS is not uncommon and is not usually life-threatening to women. Complications come along later which can lead to some life-threatening diseases, but POS can be detected and treated early. It isn't the POSthat hurts the women, it's the affects of the POS, such as weight gain, which canlead to obesity and eventually type 2 diabetes or heart disease. Ironically the sameproblems which show up in women who use the pill for birth control!Let's look at some other elements of Ms. Fluke's testimony.Ms. Fluke, after making it clear that she holds a specific angst towards religious-based colleges, states that it can cost “over $3,000.00 during law school” for awoman to pay for her contraception. This sounds like a lot of money until one realizes that law school can last between5-7 years, and longer if you include the time before one goes to law school, or thetime during which one obtains the obligatory Bachelors' degree. All total? Elevenyears of education (give or take a year or two).Let's take Planned Parenthood's own information. At $160.00 per year, over 11years, the grand total is $2,816.00. Close enough. But that's less than $14.00 permonth. College students spend more at Starbucks in one week than that! Andeven if the student is Ramen-noodle dirt poor, Planned Parenthood could easilyafford to cover the cost.But wait! The student could find themselves in a bind even with Planned Parenthoodas well. You see, the poor student would have to cough up $155.00 to even be seenbefore they could get their pills. Yes, that covers an exam and consultation. Butgee, guys! If the kid fork over $155.00 for a one-time meeting, couldn't they spenda little more and get their birth control for an entire year?Something simply isn't adding up here.Ms. Fluke did make an interesting observation:“...when you let university administrators or other employers, other than womenand their doctors, dictate whose medical needs are legitimate and whose are not, awoman's health takes a backseat to bureaucracy focused on policing her body...”Isn't that what Obamacare is proposing to do to the rest of us, Ms. Fluke? Do youwant to force religious institutions to provide for your needs as if they were thefederal government medical system forced on the general population?According to Ms. Fluke's story, the insurance company denied her friend withcontraception because it felt she really wanted it to prevent pregnancy and not forthe condition (this denial allegedly occurred in spite of evidence supporting adoctors' diagnosis).

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