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Feminist News


December-06-96

Study Finds Unnecessary Oral Contraception Panic has International Effects

A newly-released study done by the Birth Control Trust in London found an announcement by the UK's Committee on Safety of Medicines (CSM) concerning new findings on certain oral contraception was "unnecessarily alarmist" and caused "a needless panic." In October 1995, new information detected an extremely slight increase in risk of blood clotting for certain women taking "third generation" birth control pills. The CSM's incorrect interpretation of the finding caused many women to stop using oral contraception even though it was concluded that no immediate action was necessary. Ann Furedi, Director of Birth Control Trust, said, "Once the UK advice had been broadcast around the world it alarmed women even in countries where the official advice was reassuring." According to the Birth Control Trust, the CSM's announcement produced a rise in unwanted pregnancies because of concern about the safety of oral contraceptives. A rise in abortions is expected to occur. Only in Britain, Germany, and Norway did further research find that women taking the "third generation" pill should switch to other brands.

Media Resources: Birth Control Trust Press Release, November 21, 1996