As I mentioned in a previous article, I’ve recently been contacted by an amazing group of people who are making it their mission to research and share information about the safety of hormonal birth control and other women’s health issues. In looking for answers about her daughter’s death from the Nuva-Ring, Dru West came across my thesis online and contacted me about my research. After a series of equally serendipitous events, I was then invited to be part of a research team who will further study blood clots and hormonal birth control. I’m embarking on this journey to share what I find—the good, the bad, and the ugly. I’m embarking on this journey with the hope that we can prevent what happened to me from happening to other women. I’m embarking on this journey for the countless women who lost their lives by taking these drugs for birth control, for irregular periods, for acne, or the myriad other reasons for which they have been prescribed.
My role in this project includes sharing my own story, the research from my thesis, and combing through 1500 pages of congressional testimony from the 1970 hearings about birth control pills. These documents, the Nelson Pill Hearings, have been fascinating and overwhelming. And more than anything they’ve made me want to know more. I want to find out what was known about hormonal birth control back then and how the research has or hasn’t changed since. I want to know why synthetic estrogen was banned in chickens because it caused cancer in animals at the same time it was approved for women (at 100,000 times the quantity). I also want to understand why no women were allowed to testify at these hearings (they were kicked out). And I can’t wait to share what I find with you.