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Would The Personhood Amendment Ban Birth Control Pills?

On November 8, Mississippians will be voting on ballot amendment 26 , the so called “Personhood Amendment” that if passed, would declare a fertilized egg a person.

The question at hand is, would the Personhood Amendment be used to outlaw contraception?

Dr. Freda Bush, an Ob-Gyn and spokesperson for the Personhood amendment in Mississippi, seems to think it will not. In a press conference in support of the amendment in September, she stated this -

The personhood amendment will not ban the use of hormonal contraceptives.

The video of this press conference is being used to reassure voters about the intent of amendment 26. And yet the information Dr. Bush presents about contraception and the amendment stands in complete contrast to that which the personhood movement itself has presented. Here is the standard “talking point” on contraception from personhood sites at states across the country seeking to pass similar amendments – Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Blog That Ate Manhattan*

Considering The Risks And Benefits Of The Birth Control Pill

From a message posted on Facebook:

Is the pill safe? The International Agency for Research on Cancer in a 2007 study made by 21 scientists reported that the pill causes cancer, giving it the highest level of carcinogenicity, the same as cigarettes and asbestos. It also causes stroke, and significantly increases the risk of heart attacks. Several scientific journals have stated that the natural way of regulating births through the Billings Ovulation Method has no side-effects, and is 99.5 % effective.

The Billings Ovulation Method (BOM) is a method of natural family planning where women are taught to recognize when they have ovulated by examining their cervical mucus, allowing them to avoid intercourse during fertile periods or conversely, to have intercourse during fertile periods when pregnancy is desired. We used to call people who used the rhythm method “parents,” but BOM is more reliable than older abstinence methods.

I’m a big fan of oral contraceptives. They contributed to Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Science-Based Medicine*

Yaz (An Oral Contraceptive Pill) And Blood Clots: What The “Higher Risk” Means

Two studies published in this weeks’ British Medical Journal, one from the US and the other from the UK, report that users of drosperinone containing oral contraceptives (Yaz, Yasmin and their generics) have increased relative risks for non-fatal blood clots compared with users of pills containing levonorgestrel.

While neither study is perfect, and indeed have some very major limitations, they add to a growing body of evidence that pills containing drosperinone may impart higher risks for blood clots than older pills. Yaz is not alone in this regard – other studies have suggested that pills containing the newer progestins gestodene and desogestrel also impart slightly high clot risks than the so-called first and second generation pills containing the older progestins norethindrone and levonorgestrel.

I won’t go into the studies’ limitations here, but will say that trying to get our hands around comparative data on clot risks between various pills is an extraordinarily difficult process given that the diagnosis of blood clots is not always straightforward (or correct), pill choices are not randomized and fraught with prescribing bias, and confounding risk factors for clotting are numerous and difficult to control for. I wish folks would stop trying to answer these questions on the quick and cheap using claims and pharmacy databases without requiring chart review and strict diagnostic criteria. But that’s the way these studies are being done, and that’s the data I am being forced to contend with in my practice, so let’s talk about it. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Blog That Ate Manhattan*

Chewable Birth Control

Just in time for the new year, the FDA has approved the first low-dose chewable birth control contraceptive. 

The daily chew will be marketed by Watson Pharmaceuticals, Inc. Fred Wilkinson, executive vice president of Global Brands said: “We believe this product is an important addition to the oral contraceptive category, and that its characteristics will make it a desirable choice for women.”

I have to ask myself: “Why?”

Most birth control failures occur because the woman forgets to take the pill. Will a chewable be more reliant? Is it aimed at gals who just love chewing gum? I don’t get the concept.

Marketing for this breakthrough will begin the in the second quarter of 2011.

*This blog post was originally published at EverythingHealth*

Baby Born From A 20-Year-Old Embryo

There appears to be a new record for a cryopreserved embryo birth. From NPR:

In 1990 a couple underwent In Vitro Fertilization. They eventually had a healthy baby. They also, as is common, had a number of microscopic embryos that hadn’t been implanted, but were viable. They decided to anonymously donate them. Now, one of those embryos has produced a little boy, 20 years after being created.

In other embryo-related news, Colorado has another personhood rights bill (Amendment 62) on the ballot for November:

As used in sections 3, 6, and 25 of Article II of the state constitution, the term “person” shall apply to every human being from the beginning of the biological development of that human being.

So here’s my question: Under the proposed Colorado amendment, would this kid be legal to drink on his first birthday? I’m just sayin’…

Seriously, Colorado — just say “no” to Amendment 62. Its proponents plan to use it to try and outlaw birth control pills and IUDs.

*This blog post was originally published at tbtam*

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