Especially after Pope Francis’ words about birth rate reduction, I’m really excited about this new documentary that’s coming out! It’s called Sweetening the Pill, produced by Ricki Lake and Abby Epstein. Their Kickstarter page is here. Nine days to go!!
As a Catholic, I have several reasons to get excited about it:
1. It’s not Catholic, so those who automatically plug their ears and close their eyes when they see/hear “Catholic” might actually pay attention.
2. I’m hoping that even though it’s focused on The Pill, the film will also open people’s eyes to the general risks of contraception — in all its forms — that too many would rather sweep under the rug, because knowing and understanding those risks might have to mean a change in lifestyle, and nobody likes change.
That, I think, is the scariest thing. Doctors throw these pills at us like they are candy cure-alls when there REALLY hasn’t been enough research done on their effects, especially long term. They just don’t know enough about them. I spent HOURS and HOURS on Google, on different women’s health forums and discovered that so many others had had similar situations to mine. Some had the mental symptoms, others felt like they were no longer themselves. Some likened it to menopause. It was comforting, eye opening, and also made me completely livid. How could doctors do this to us?! How could we let them? How could we not be educated that this was a possibility? How was this feminism, when we were basically losing control of our bodies, of ourselves??
Source: Why I Will Never Take the Birth Control Pill Again
4. I’m hoping that they’ll explore the relationship between contraceptive usage and environmental impact, i.e., the state of our waters.
17a-ethinyl estradiol (EE2) is a component of combination oral contraceptives designed for women, of which approximately 16–68%of dose is excreted in the urine or feces19. A substantial amount of EE2has been found in aquatic environments downstream of wastewater treatment plants.
Source: Transgenerational effects from early developmental exposures to bisphenol A or 17[agr]-ethinylestradiol in medaka, Oryzias latipes
5. I’m hoping that they’ll explore the relationship between contraceptive usage and body burden, whereby women pass on chemicals in their bloodstream on to their babies.
6. The film will be a great addition to the growing body of material that dares to expose what has been unknown or hidden for so long.
To illustrate from a UK survey of 1000 women:
– More than a quarter (27 per cent) said you didn’t know what hormonal contraception was doing to your body.
– More than a quarter (27 per cent) of you said you were ‘worried’ and ‘nervous’ about taking it.
– One in three women (35 per cent) said they felt that women were just expected to ‘put up’ with the side-effects of hormonal contraception.
– More than a third of you (41 per cent) said you were only using your method of contraception because a doctor or nurse suggested it.
Source: Telegraph Wonder Women launches Take Back Birth Control campaign
I don’t expect them to discuss, but would be a pleasant surprise if they touched a bit on these at least:
1. The abortifacient methods of action built into every contraceptive, since the producers are still pro-birth control.
“We believe that the birth control pill was one of the greatest inventions of the 20th century. But we think women deserve more and better options, not less of them. Hormonal birth control often dominates the conversation, but, like a hospital birth or cesarean, it’s not always the best choice for all.”
2. An admission that Humanae Vitae was correct after all: the role that contraception plays in the male-female dynamic and the objectification of women, and contraception’s contribution to the destruction of family as a societal structure.
3. Birth control’s connection to abortion. A discussion of how “conception” was redefined in 1959 to mean implantation, how embryology and microbiology textbooks to this day still adhere to the original definition of “conception” as “fertilization”, and how that redefinition contributed to the legalization of contraception, and to the eventual confusion of when life begins.
5. Fertility issues like endometriosis and PCOS that taking the Pill masks and worsens.
6. The role of contraception in aging populations and demographic winter.
7. Something that the Church has known forever: every life is a gift.
All in all, I’m curious to see where this will lead, as I think it could be the beginning of a new era in real comprehensive sex education. I hope you’ll support the project too.
If you’re dying (no pun intended) to find out more about Fertility Awareness Methods as alternatives to the Pill, here’s a great (secular-produced) vid you can watch in the meantime:
There are also more films coming up!! Read about Natural Womanhood and the film Natural Love Stories here.
Bad Feminists: Why It’s So Hard to Critique the Pill
Brianna Heldt: Ricki Lake and Birth Control
Telegraph Wonder Women launches Take Back Birth Control campaign
Birth Control in Drinking Water: A Fertility Catastrophe in the Making?
NuvaRing Caused My Daughter’s Death | Like So Many Women, She Had No Idea of the Risks
(More information on Body Burden + Contraceptives on Page 2)