Curiously absent from the entire birth control debate of the last couple of weeks have been women. In fact, just yesterday, Congress held a discussion on the matter with an all-male panel. Women weren’t allowed. A New Hampshire State Rep., Jeanine Notter (R-Merrimack), might have the reason why. Birth control pills, although taken exclusively by women, aren’t really about women. They are about men. Isn’t everything? Birth control pills, it seems, can cause prostate cancer in men.
From Raw Story:
“As a man, would it interest you to know that Dr. Brownstein just published an article that links the pill to prostate cancer?” Notter asked state Rep. Andrew Manuse (R-Derry).
“In the children that are born from these women?” a confused Manuse replied.
“Women take the pill and it’s in their bodies — I’m very anti-chemical — and the men pick it up,” she explained.
The article she is referring to is here. It references this study. The study finds that countries with higher rates of hormonal birth control pills have higher rates of prostate cancer in men. It’s not clear whether the study indicates correlation or causation. For example, is it possible that countries with higher rates of birth control are also more industrialized, that men are exposed to more carcinogens overall?
One theory is that the pills seep into the water supply. If that was the case, wouldn’t that be a call for better water purification?
Regardless, the study is, at least at this point, nothing more than speculation. What isn’t speculation, however, is that the pill prevents cancer in a whole lot of women. There is as much as an 80% reduction in ovarian and endometrial cancer among women who take birth control pills.
However, as long as the possibility hangs in the air that the pill could be harmful to the ovary-less, you can bet that somewhere, some politician or talk show host near you, will be calling for banning the pill.