Glenn Reynolds is absolutely right when he wonders if birth control pills have contributed to the dramatic rise in strokes in young urban women.
Today at Instapundit, Glenn Reynolds put up the following short post:
A WORRISOME INCREASE IN STROKES among young people in large cities. The increase among women is more than double that among men, which makes me wonder if hormonal birth control plays a role.
Reynolds’ supposition is right on the money. Birth control pills are dangerous and there are no brakes on the cultural pressure encouraging women to take them. Worse, not only our popular culture, but our governments, local, state, and national, have decided that it is virtuous to encourage girls as young as twelve to take a powerful chemical so that they can engage in unlimited adolescent sex.
In California, a child of any age, without parental consent or knowledge, can get contraception or an abortion. Meanwhile, also in California, your minor daughter cannot get a tattoo at all nor can she get her ears pierced without your consent . . . but she can just toddle off get a prescription for birth control pills or get an abortion without your being the wiser for it. The assumption seems to be that birth control pills are harmless and that parents, by contrast, are harmful.
As it happens, birth control pills, which some schools hand out like candy, are anything but innocuous. Without even knowing the science, common sense tells us that it’s ridiculous to think that you can feed nuclear-powered hormones into a barely pubescent girl without have some effect on what should be her natural development. In addition to that, those dangerous side effects you hear about birth control pills, including the strokes Reynolds mentions, are very real:
The birth control pill can lead to a higher risk for blood clots, heart attack, and stroke in women who smoke, especially if they are over 35 years of age. Combination estrogen and progestin birth control (including the pills, ring or patch) should NOT be used by women who are over 35 years of age and smoke.
A progestin called drospirenone is found in some birth control pills such as Yaz, Yasmin, Gianvi, Syeda, Safyral, and Beyaz and is linked to a higher risk for blood clots than other pills control pills. Drospirenone may also raise potassium levels in the blood which may cause heart or health problems. It is important to discuss your health history with your doctor prior to using these birth control pills.
Birth control pills should NOT be used by women who have a history of breast cancer, endometrial cancer, uexplained vaginal bleeding, liver tumors or disease, increased clotting or stroke risk, or if pregnant.
Smoking increases the risk of serious heart side effects when using a combined estrogen and progestin birth control, including the ring or the patch. This risk increases with heavy smoking (> 15 cigarettes per day). Combination estrogen and progestin birth control should NOT be used in women over 35 years of age who smoke due to an increased risk of rare but serious side effects, such as heart attack, blood clots, and stroke.
Women of any age should avoid combination hormonal birth control if they have a history of uncontrolled high blood pressure, chest pain, diabetes, severe headaches, heart or liver disease, blood clots or stroke. Cardiovascular risks increase with age, weight, family history of heart disease, and number of cigarettes smoked per day (>15 per day). Women should talk to their healthcare professional about their individual risk profile before deciding which birth control method to use.
Let your physician know if you have migraine headaches when discussing birth control options.
Common Side Effects with Birth Control Pills
- Spotting between periods (breakthrough bleeding)
- Possible weight gain or fluid retention
- Breast swelling or tenderness
- Nausea or upset stomach
- Mood changes
Serious Side Effects with Birth Control Pills
- Blurred vision
- Severe stomach pain
- Severe headache
- Swelling or pain in the legs
- Chest pain, heart attack, blood clots, stroke
I’ve known people who have suffered from all of the most serious side effects, whether strokes, blood clots, or hyperemesis gravitas (uncontrolled vomiting, which is how Charlotte Bronte died when she finally married and got pregnant). The sad reality, though, is that when presented with something that clears up their skin, makes their boyfriends happy, and prevents pregnancy, none of those risks are meaningful to the girls and women who make the decision to take these powerful, dangerous drugs.
In addition to the physical damage birth control pills can do, they also do weird things to women’s brains. The most strange — and, incidentally, the one that has the greatest effect on societal trends — is that it encourages women to find baby-faced men attractive. This makes sense, given that the Pill mimics pregnancy, so the body is getting the woman ready to fall in love with her baby’s face. Without babies, though, all that birth control pills do is encourage women to prefer men who look younger and less mature (and who may indeed be both young and immature).
Societally, this doesn’t make sense. No matter how much feminists want to deny human biology, the reality is that women are vulnerable to all sorts of things, such as predators and starvation, when pregnant or with young children. They need a man who can provide for them, and the mature man is more likely to be a good provider than the green youth.
Birth control pills can also cause or increase depression. That little fact may help explain why there’s been a huge surge in depression amongst young women. Maybe it’s social media . . . or maybe it’s that young women have a powerful, dangerous chemical impairing their bodies’ natural hormonal balance.
All things considered, giving young women unlimited access to such a powerful drug is the last thing that loving parents should allow the state to determine for their child without parental input. Nevertheless, the modern Leftist paradigm demands that the state step in and encourage young women to take a terribly dangerous medicine so that they can have sex, even if they’re too young to deal with the emotional and physical issues that come with physical intimacy. And backing up the state, of course, is a huge Leftist infrastructure of social media, publications aimed at teens and young women, movies, television shows, and Planned Parenthood ubiquity, all selling birth control pills to America’s young women.
If you ask your average Progressive why the state should be trading in a death-dealing drug that upends traditional morality, he will tell you a sad story about a girl growing up in a horrible home who was raped by her uncle, or her mother’s boyfriend, and then, when she turned up pregnant, was beaten or turned out onto the street. While it is an affecting tale, one ask to ask how common that situation really is, especially in a day and age when out-of-wedlock births no longer carry a stigma.
I don’t have statistics at hand, but common sense tells me that the vast majority of American parents love their daughters. If a girl wants to have teen sex or shows up pregnant, these loving parents want to be involved — and their involvement is the best thing that can support a child who is about to make or has already made a bad decision.
Also at a practical level, it’s worth noting that easy access to birth control pills isn’t just a boon for that presumably small subsection of young women with scary parents. (You know that, in the Progressive mind, all those scary parents are thumping Bibles. I’m going to make a guess, though, that in today’s America, those scary parents, to the extent they really exist, are also thumping Korans.) Birth control pills are also a boon to pedophiles. To the extent that they prevent young women from getting pregnant, birth control pills, along with abortions that do not require parental consent, assure a pedophile that he never need worry about a baby’s DNA convicting him.
There is a place for birth control pills in modern society. However, the enormous pressure from the Left to push these pills on young women means that a dangerous chemical is treated like candy in order to effect social changes — changes that often have to do with breaking down the nuclear family, something that is every good statist’s (and pedophile’s) dream.
UPDATE: And right on time, an Indiana judge stopped a law allowing parents a say when a minor daughter has an abortion.