April 19, 2021


The contraceptive pill is having a PR crisis. Vaccine hysteria has exposed it (EMMA HASLETT, 4/19/21, New Statesman)

The widespread introduction of the contraceptive pill in the late 1960s created the conditions for the summer of love: for the first time in history, women had control over their own bodies. Peace and (lots of) love ensued. 

But in the five decades since, a different conversation about the pill has been underway among its users. For years, women have privately complained about its side effects - bloating, mood swings, in some cases more serious reactions like incessant, heavy bleeding or mental health issues. They've bemoaned the fact that doctors seem quick to prescribe it to manage everything from acne to polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS), without treating the underlying causes of women's health conditions - and when they question those decisions, their concerns are often dismissed. 

Earlier this month, an offhand comment by Professor Anthony Harnden, deputy chair of the Joint Committee on Vaccination and Immunisation, inadvertently exposed this quiet controversy. On an episode of Good Morning Britain, Harnden attempted to calm hysteria about the blood clot risk of AstraZeneca's Covid-19 vaccine, which is thought to be one in 250,000, by comparing it with the blood clot risk of the contraceptive pill, which is between 5 and 12 in 10,000 - over 125 times higher. 

A comparison intended to reassure instead sparked panic and anger among women. Many shared their shock to learn of the risks of a medication they had been taking every day for years - some even complained they were never warned about that particular side effect at all. 

Posted by at April 19, 2021 1:41 PM