BELMONT, North Carolina, November 23, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – The president of Belmont Abbey College in North Carolina says they would rather close their doors than submit to a mandate by the Obama administration that threatens to force Catholic institutions to cover abortifacient drugs, sterilizations, and contraceptives in their health plans.
“I believe we would go there,” said Dr. William Thierfelder, according to the Gaston Gazette, at a press conference Friday after they launched a lawsuit against the Obama administration. “The point is I don’t think we’re going to have to get there. There’s many steps in between that we can take before we come to that conclusion.”
First FDA, now Health Canada: contraceptive pills may significantly increase blood clot risk
OTTAWA, Ontario, June 10, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Health Canada has announced it will be reviewing the safety of the contraceptive pills Yaz and Yasmin over concerns users may have a two to three times greater risk of developing blood clots, compared to those who use other brands of contraceptive pills. Health Canada’s decision follows in the footsteps of an announcement in May that the United State’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) was also reviewing the safety of the contraceptive pills. “Blood clots are a rare but well known side effect associated with all birth control pills,” said a statement from the Canadian federal department. Recent studies, including two new
studies published in the British Medical Journal, suggest the risk of venous thromboembolism (blood clots) with drospirenone-containing contraceptive pills may be two to three times greater than with birth control pills containing another type of
progestin. Drospirenone is one form of the female sex hormone known as progestin. While most contraceptive pills contain a combination of progestin and estrogen, some contain different types of progestin only. In Canada, Yaz and Yasmin, produced by Bayer, are the only contraceptive pills containing drospirenone. Bayer is facing 7000 Yaz-related lawsuits in the U.S. from women who say the drug manufacturer misrepresented the dangers associated with using the birth control pills – side effects
including stroke, cardiac arrest, blood clots, and gallbladder problems. One wrongful death lawsuit involves an 18-year-old New Jersey college student, Michelle Pfleger, who died of cardiac arrest after taking Yaz for acne treatment. A blood clot had lodged in her lungs resulting in her sudden death on her way to classes on September 24, 2010. Her mother Joan Cummins filed suit against Bayer on May 10. In light of the concerns, Health Canada announced they will be “investigating and reviewing
the studies.” “Health Canada will take appropriate action as necessary once the
review is complete,” said the statement on the federal website. “This could include informing health professionals and Canadians of new safety information resulting from Health Canada’s review.” Meanwhile, Bayer issued a press release claiming studies have confirmed the risk from Yaz and Yasmin is comparable to other contraceptives. “Bayer’s oral contraceptives have been and continue to be extensively studied worldwide and for most healthy women of reproductive age, the benefits
of [oral contraceptives such as Yaz and Yasmin] will outweigh the risks when used as directed,” the company said. According to Bayer, the risk of venous thromboembolism (blood clots) for women taking Yaz or Yasmin is also “lower than the risk for VTE associated with pregnancy and delivery.” For other Health Canada drug information and other side effects of hormonal contraceptives, click here. Continue reading
2009 study confirms abortion-breast cancer link
Bethesda, Md., Jan 7, 2010 / 07:40 am (CNA).- An April 2009 study co-authored by a researcher who has previously denied an abortion-breast cancer link shows a statistically significant increase in breast cancer risk among women who have had abortions or who use oral contraceptives. The study by researchers including Jessica Dolle of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research contained a table reporting a statistically significant 40 percent risk increase for women who have had abortions. According to the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer (CABC), the study listed abortion as among
“known and suspected risk factors.” The CABC says that one co-author of the study, U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) researcher Dr. Louise Brinton, had organized a 2003 NCI workshop on the abortion-breast cancer link. That workshop reportedly said the non-existence of an abortion-breast cancer link was “well established.” CNA contacted Dr. Brinton for comment but did not receive a reply by publication time. Dr. Joel Brind, who is a CBCP advisor and president of the Breast Cancer
Prevention Institute and a professor of endocrinology at Baruch College at City
University of New York, said that the study’s findings on abortion were not new.
Rather, they repeated the “modest but significant” findings of the 1990s which
found a breast cancer risk factor increase of between 20 and 50 percent. However, he said Dr. Brinton’s participation in the study was significant because the NCI has “firmly
maintained” a position denying an abortion-breast cancer link since 2003. The study, titled “Risk factors for triple-negative breast cancer in women under the age of 45 years,” was published in the American Association for Cancer Research’s
(AACR) medical journal “Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.” Researchers also found a significant link between the use of oral contraceptives and a particularly aggressive cancer known as triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Brind said that according to the study, women who start oral contraceptives before the
age of 18 multiply their risk of TNBC by 3.7 times. Those who were users of oral
contraceptives within one to five years before the study showed a risk 4.2 times the average.
TNBC is associated with high mortality. Brind suggested that oral contraceptives may function not merely as a secondary carcinogen. Rather, the synthetic estrogen-progestin combination or its metabolic byproducts may be a primary cause of
the cell mutations that lead to cancer formation. CBCP president Karen Malec criticized that the NCI, the American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen for the Cure and other cancer organizations for not issuing nationwide warnings to women on the basis of the study. Continue reading