Wednesday, February 25, 2015

I'm with Monte

Ontario premier Kathleen Wynne gives herself entirely too much credit.

Regarding Ontario's new sex-ed program, Conservative Monte McNaughton said:
“it’s not the Premier of Ontario’s job, especially Kathleen Wynne, to tell parents what’s age-appropriate for their children.”
Kathleen replied:
“What is it that especially disqualifies me for the job that I’m doing? Is it that I’m a woman? Is it that I’m a mother? Is it that I have a master’s of education? Is it that I was a school council chair? Is it that I was the minister of education? What is it exactly that the member opposite thinks disqualifies me from doing the job that I’m doing? What is that?”
Who cares about all that Kathleen? I don't, and I don't think anyone else in the province does either.

And Kathleen while we're at it, I don't trust you with running anything in this province. Why would I trust you with sex education? Remember those hard drives being wiped clean Kathleen? And what about those skyrocketing hydro rates? Or what about paying down Ontario's monstrous debt of $278,510,000,000 instead of increasing the debt like you're doing now?

And what about hiding abortion statistics Kathleen? Do you think that's part of your job too?

Monte, I couldn't agree with you more: It's not the Premier of Ontario's job, especially Kathleen Wynne, to tell parents what's age-appropriate for their children.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Monday, February 16, 2015

IPPF and Depo-Provera: what about informed consent?

When we inject harmful drugs into the arms of poor women in Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Mali, Sudan, and Tanzania, do we tell them of the drug's serious side effects?

I'm talking about the contraceptive Depo-Provera. (revealed through an access to information request to DFATD on the $6 million funding to IPPF for the Maternal, Newborn, and Child Health initiative)

IPPF (through DFATD) purchased 18,000 units of this drug in one year (2013-2014), and injected over a half million shots of it into these women since 2012. (1)

So what are the drug's side effects?

Depo-Provera doubles the risk of breast cancer in women (2), causes severe bone loss forcing Pfizer to put a black box warning (3) on the drug. The drug also has horrible side effects for women coming off the drug, as reported by women themselves. (4)

Are we telling them of these risks? What about informed consent (5)? Laura Shea of the Women's Health Network wrote a 22 page paper on this drug. She discusses Bone Density loss, and the other side effects. She also comments on its use in developing countries.
"Many women’s groups have opposed the use of injectable contraceptives like Depo Provera in developing countries because Depo Provera poses particular health concerns for poor women, who may have low bone density due to poor nutritional status. These women are already vulnerable because access to local health care facilities is often inadequate or non-existent, and the right to informed consent is often overlooked..."
And just last month we learned that Depo-Provera is linked to a 40% higher risk of HIV.

So what is Canada doing about this? We team up with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, who also provides Depo-Provera to poor countries. (7)

One of the mantras repeated over and over again throughout the hundreds of pages of documentation I've received from DFATD on the IPPF funding, is how IPPF is helping "remote, under-served, poor, and vulnerable populations" in these countries.

Really?

Does IPPF inform these women of the very serious side effects of these drugs? Do they explain the risks in the women's own language? Do these women benefit in any way from informed consent?

I couldn't find any references in the mountain of documentation I received, that referred to informed consent in any way. Yet IPPF tells us they are helping "remote, under-served, poor, and vulnerable populations". With Canadian money.

(1)  

(2) A study of Depo-Provera
"found that for women between 20 to 44 Years of Age, continued use for 12 months or longer was associated with a 2.2-fold [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.2–4.2] increased risk of invasive breast cancer."
"Women who use Depo-Provera Contraceptive Injection may lose significant bone mineral density. Bone loss is greater with increasing duration of use and may not be completely reversible. It is unknown if use of Depo-Provera Contraceptive Injection during adolescence or early adulthood, a critical period of bone accretion, will reduce peak bone mass and increase the risk of osteoporotic fracture in later life. Depo-Provera Contraceptive Injection should be used as a long-term birth control method (eg, longer than 2 years) only if other birth control methods are inadequate (see WARNINGS)."


Side effects as reported by women themselves (682 comments)

Adolescents and Young Women? (From a paper written by Laura Wershler for Canadian Woman Studies in 2005)
"One acknowledged outcome of Depo-Provera use is the time delay (three to 18 months or longer) after the last shot for a full return to fertility. This recovery time can be, for some women, fraught with distressing health problems for which no apparent treatment protocol exists. Weight gain is extremely common and more extreme in teenagers than adult women. Many women discontinue the drug for this reason. The depressive effects of DepoProvera are well known. Severe depression, anxiety, and paranoia have all been reported. Some women experience symptoms while on it, others experience depression after stopping the drug. Hot flashes, vaginal dryness, and other menopausal symptoms experienced by some women are directly due to the "bottomed-out levels of estrogen and testosterone" (Rako 1 10) that are also responsible for loss of bone density. Loss of desire for sex and loss of sexual sensitivity are also subsequent to hormonal depletion. Herein lays the irony of DepoProvera use by young women. The drug induces the hormonal profile of a menopausal woman and with it the potential to experience the full constellation of symptoms (once thought to be all in women's heads) that can so diminish the quality of life for women in mid-life and beyond. As a contraceptive choice for teenagers and young women, DepoProvera provides them the opportunity to experience loss of libido, vaginal dryness, unmanageable weight gain, depression, bone loss and other unpleasant outcomes in exchange for pregnancy prevention. These negative side-effects cause many women to stop using the drug, but others tolerate them, often not aware their symptoms are related to their choice of contraceptive. The other irony? Women who tolerate Depo-Provera best are most likely to take it long-term and, therefore, are most at risk for significant and potentially irreversible bone loss... "

(5) Reflections on Depo Provera: Contributions to Improving Drug Regulation in Canada 
"International use as a population control measure 
Historically, family planning programmes typically limited contraceptive choice to those methods that resulted in either: 1) permanent sterilization, or; 2) temporary sterilization as in the case of Depo Provera. Even before its approval as a contraceptive, Depo Provera was promoted by family planning programmes and population control agencies, predominantly in the so-called “developing” countries, because it was identified as a highly effective, provider-controlled technology that promised to drive down birth rates among poor women. Many women’s groups have opposed the use of injectable contraceptives like Depo Provera in developing countries because Depo Provera poses particular health concerns for poor women, who may have low bone density due to poor nutritional status. These women are already vulnerable because access to local health care facilities is often inadequate or non-existent, and the right to informed consent is often overlooked..." (emphasis mine)
(6) Depo-Provera Linked to Higher HIV Risk Researchers Find 
"Depo-Provera is associated with an increased risk of HIV infection in women, according to a review of research in Africa.
Women who receive the so-called “birth control shot” have about 40 percent higher odds of becoming infected with HIV, compared to women using some other form of birth control or no birth control at all, researchers reported."
(7) The Globe speaks to Stephen Harper and Melinda Gates about maternal and child health
"...And Mr. Harper, do you see that the same way, that reproductive health needs to be a part of the initiative? 
[Stephen Harper] Yes, there’s actually a myth that we don’t fund any family planning or maternal health. That’s not true. We do. We, specifically as a result of a vote in Parliament do not fund abortion services but we fund other forms. And yes, I do happen to believe that’s an essential part of the continuum."

Sunday, February 15, 2015

RU-486 - myth #5 - everybody else is doing it

Renate Klein from her book RU486 Misconceptions, Myths and Morals, states in her conclusion:
"There is much about RU 486/PG that is fraught with risk and problems. As we have queried, what is the meaning of a `private' and 'de-medicalized' abortion that requires three or four doctor visits to a specialized center, includes the taking of two and perhaps five hazardous drug combinations, is accompanied by vaginal ultrasound, and too often has complications ranging from moderate bleeding to severe pain and, for some women, blood transfusions? If this is a private and de-medicalized abortion experience, then the word `private' has lost its definitional moorings..."

I puzzled over why such a dangerous drug, could be so blindly promoted by the pro-abortions.

Then Klein answers this question.
"...There are many reasons why individual women and women's groups have jumped on the RU 486/PG bandwagon. The packaging of the new abortifacient has been immensely successful. `The very nature of specialized knowledge and information, the complexity of the technology, the way the `advances' have been publicized in the popular media and such places as Science magazine and the incredibly slick marketing job which is being done, have had the effect of silencing criticism' (pers. comm. to from Judy Luce, June 1991). 
Many women's groups have taken the erosion of women' right to abortion, as well as the fear of playing into the hand of the right-wing, as incentive enough for promoting RU 486/PG. The philosophy prevails that 'we' — those who are committed to women's rights — must be for whatever 'they'' — those who are not committed to women's rights, i.e. the anti-abortionists — are against. However, this defense of RU 486/PG has been too much defined by a reaction to the right wing."

Klein then questions the dumping of drugs into our bodies:
"It has been the purpose of this report to demonstrate that many of the basic assumptions about RU 486/PG abortion need to be fundamentally re-examined...most of these reproductive drugs used to intervene in women's reproductive cycle often have serious risks and complications. Thus for the last quarter of a century, feminist health activists have been put in the position of risk management and risk communication, documenting the downside of such technologies and drugs. At the same time, reproductive technologists, while admitting that there are some risks, minimize them so that the technologies and drugs become acceptable and go forward, despite the complications. They offer studies that convince women that the risks can be managed and that if women want effective contraception, abortions, and children, the risks have to be lived with. 
At a time when the rest of the planet is being warned about the risks of chemical fixes, there is an enormous increase in the number and kinds of drugs that are being prescribed for women, especially in the reproductive realm. From a girl's birth to a woman's death, she is often prescribed fertility drugs, the pill, a new generation of anti-pregnancy vaccines that are especially being promoted in third world countries, tranquilizers, estrogen — currently, hormone — replacement therapy, and now RU 486/PG, a haphazard combination of two dubious drugs..."

Finally, I have noticed that one of the main reasons we should approve this drug (according to the pro-abortion media), is that there has been a truckload of other countries that have already done so. I say so what. Just because my friend jumps off a bridge doesn't mean I have to too.

Health Canada must follow the the existing evidence, as Renate Klein has done, and not approve this dangerous drug.