Heard this story on NPR today: With Birth Control Pills, New Isn't Always Better
A 16-year old with a blood clot that could have easily killed her...this is scary stuff. And yet the makers of birth control pills would have you believe that these side effects are "rare" and that the benefits of the Pill far outweigh the risks. It's good to see that Yaz has been exposed as dangerous, but the story also obscured the fact that these side effects are common to all types of birth control pills. We women pump these artificial hormones into our bodies every day for decades and expect there to be no problems. It's unrealistic to say the least.
I was also annoyed to see that not a single doctor challenged the assumption that this 16-year old girl needed to be on the Pill. Acne and irregular periods are inconvenient, yes, but they are common problems in all teenage girls and usually go away as women move into their 20s. There are plenty of other treatments for acne, and the idea that every woman must have a 28-day cycle every month or she's "abnormal" is quite absurd. Now, conditions like severe pain during the menstrual cycle are a different story. But doctors seem unwilling to address the underlying causes when it's so much easier just to prescribe the Pill. Hopefully stories like this will make some doctors rethink that approach.
A hopeful sign: in the comments, a handful of people are actually being open about the emotional and physical side effects of the Pill instead of touting it as a panacea. I'm starting to observe a wider acceptance of NFP/FAM in secular circles, which is fantastic. There are still plenty who scoff at it, of course, but there is an increased openness to the idea of natural birth control. Finally, people are waking up to the absurdity of an approach that suggests that our bodies are inherently "broken" and that the normal functioning of our reproductive systems is something to be "fixed."