(Even in Canada, ahead of the curve into the descent into amorality in so many other ways, you at least still need a prescription from a medical professional to get the so-called ‘birth control pill’. But no longer in the United States under the ‘leadership’ of Biden – you can buy the dangerous drug as easily, as the title says, as a pack of gum or chocolate -which is, quite literally, in-sane, as in, distinctly un-healthy. Of course, as we commemorate this anniversary of the Humane Vitae, we know that contraception is intrinsically evil and immoral. But it is also physiologically harmful, especially to young women of reproductive age, providing a bolstering argument against its use. Here, the group ‘Pro-Family Women’ offers a summary of these dangers, and why the ‘Pill’ should be avoided at all costs, never mind offered without any supervision, medical or otherwise. We can hope that as governmental policies become ever-more unhinged, more and more people truly wake up).
On July 13th, the Biden Administration’s U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved HRA Pharma’s request to make their progestin-only birth control pills (Opill) available over the counter — allowing over-the-counter sale of daily oral contraception for the first time in U.S. history. The stocking of shelves will follow early next year, with no need for women to go through a health care provider or pharmacist.
The request to make contraceptives available over-the-counter came on the heels of the Dobbs decision. There are many who came together to take advantage of the renewed call to protect the tired mantra “my body, my choice.” Although many proponents wanted to hastily take advantage of the current political moment, the FDA Briefing Document prepared for the hearings questioned the use of decades old data and referenced a study that raised significant questions in the minds of some FDA reviewers, even leading some to wonder whether or not the key study presented needs to be re-run. But until more people take seriously the potential medical harms of over-the-counter access and, even more fundamentally, come to understand the negative consequences of contraception itself, it appeared that eventual approval would most likely ride the wave of political expediency and acquiesce to the public outcry.
When thinking about how best to explain why the FDA’s approval of over-the-counter contraception will be so deleterious to women, girls and society as a whole, the obvious factors of potential medical harms and the hit to parental rights must be noted.
Parents should always be involved in their minor daughter’s medical care, especially when a medication presents potentially serious, even deadly, side effects which is the case with a progestin-only contraceptive. Research has shown that one of the more serious risks associated with a progestin-only contraceptive for adolescent girls is depression and attempted suicide. A 2016 Danish study, Association of Hormonal Contraception With Depression, found evidence that “[u]se of hormonal contraception, especially among adolescents, was associated with subsequent use of antidepressants and a first diagnosis of depression, suggesting depression as a potential adverse effect of hormonal contraceptive use.” This was a large-scale study involving over a million Danish women.
Two years later, four of the same researchers produced a study which focused on suicide, Association of Hormonal Contraception with Suicide Attempts and Suicides. This study involved close to half a million women and demonstrated that “[u]se of hormonal contraception was positively associated with subsequent suicide attempt and suicide. Adolescent women experienced the highest relative risk.” How will parents, if they are kept in the dark about their young daughter’s new contraceptive use, be able to consider whether it might be the cause of their child’s new symptoms of depression?
There are also hosts of other risks associated with a paucity of medical supervision. Without a careful reading of the labeling, the Opill could be started by those who have pre-existing contraindications. HRA Pharma’s proposed Consumer Information Leaflet also warns of the possibility of developing an ectopic pregnancy, liver problems, migraines, and allergic reactions. Further, Opill’s efficacy relies on a strict dosing regimen. It must be taken within a three-hour time window every single day. Concerns were raised in the FDA hearings that failure to read and understand drug labels and inserts could miss these very crucial points without a medical expert to highlight it. This is something that could have the largest detrimental effect on younger girls and those with limited language abilities.
Dr. Karen Murry, deputy director of the FDA’s Office of Nonprescription Drugs, was quoted in the New York Times, as saying, “if this product is approved, people might get it in a pharmacy, but they also might get it in a gas station or a big box store with no health care professionals around.”
Some people may argue that allowing adolescents access to over-the-counter contraceptives will further reduce teen pregnancy. But Professor Helen Alvare, a preeminent scholar in family law, has noted that there is a “body of research showing that while declines in teen pregnancies may occur after contraception is rendered more accessible to teens who were already sexually active but not using it, with respect to teens who were not sexually active, increased access to contraception is associated with the normalization of nonmarital sex and an increase in teen sexual behaviors leading to more teen pregnancies and abortions overall.”
Lastly, another point to consider when discussing contraception is that close to half of women (48%) who experience an unintended pregnancy are already using contraception during the month they become pregnant, and about half of women undergoing an abortion were using contraception. American women’s typical use of contraceptives, when put into real-world practice, often do not prevent pregnancy.
Any presentation on potential medical harms and parental rights is swiftly countered with “what- aboutism’s” – “What about the harms from drugs as readily available as Tylenol?” “What about the risks from childbirth?” “What about the countries that already have access to over-the-counter birth control?” “What about adolescents who have cruel, overbearing parents?” The list goes on and on, and while there are valid responses to each and every “what-about”, until more people get a grasp on why the very telos of contraception leads to a destructive lifestyle, it seems inevitable that the growing shouts of “what about’s” will come to hold sway.
Setting the medical risks posed by over-the-counter contraception aside, the basic point that can never be countered is that fundamental damage is done when sex is trivialized and God’s plan for children to be welcomed and raised within the marriage of one man and one woman is ignored. Making contraception as easy to obtain as a pack of gum or a tube of lip gloss leads to a cheapened sense of the beauty of procreation and sends a message that the potential gift of a child is really no big deal and misses the point that a child has inherent and inestimable value.