If you’re a young female (or maybe not, if their ad targeting formula is a little off), you may have seen this ad from Pill Club infiltrating your social media feeds.
Birth control marketed as acne medication. What a world.
This is absurd, and it is so for a variety of scientific (as well as philosophical) reasons.
What is the Illness They’re ‘Prescribing’ For?
The condition described is acne. Chances are, everyone has experienced some level of acne at some point in their lives. The blemishes associated with acne appear when pores/follicles become blocked by excess sebum (oil), skin, or bacteria. Acne is most common during puberty when the body experiences natural hormonal changes. Though annoying, acne is a natural function of the human skin and is frequently benefitted by proper diet and low-toxin lifestyles.
What is Pill Club?
Pill Club is a telemedicine company that only sells contraception. Their primary focus is hormonal contraception, though their website notes that female condoms are among their product offerings. The website is fun and cute, the language used is heavily “empowerment, control, & choice” based, and they promote a lot of free stuff.
Seems worth mentioning that while they aren’t hardcore promoting or selling induced abortions (i.e. surgical), it’s clear where they stand.
What is Hormonal Contraception?
Hormonal contraception is any substance/device introduced into the body that disrupts the female reproductive system. They primarily consist of pills, implants, and IUDs (intrauterine devices). Note that not all IUDs are hormonal. Pills and implants work similarly – they release estrogen and progesterone to trick the body into thinking it’s eternally pregnant, thus preventing ovulation.
IUDs can take one of two approaches. Copper IUDs release copper ions into the uterus, creating a “hostile environment” that sperm, or embryos, can’t survive in. Hormonal IUDs function similarly to the pills and implants noted above.
Why Shouldn’t Birth Control Serve as Acne Medicine?
Because it isn’t. It’s a HUGE trend right now for OBGYNs to pass out birth control as if it is the end-all-be-all cure for all female ailments. Got endometriosis? Don’t have surgery, take The Pill. Heavy periods cramping your style? Pill. Broken ankle? PILL. Okay, maybe not quite to that level. But you get the gist.
Bonus reason: one of the potential side effects of hormonal contraception is acne…
A pesky little detail that today’s feminists choose to ignore is that birth control is classified by the World Health Organization (WHO) as a Class A Carcinogen. So, in layman’s terms, we have a country full of female empowerment companies pumping cancer-causing drugs into women’s bodies and calling it feminism. These companies aren’t the first, and they won’t be the last, to sell junk that they know is harmful. But that sure doesn’t make it right.
It Can be Abortifacient.
Among other things women won’t hear from their OBGYN, hormonal contraceptives have the capacity to kill fertilized embryos. After all, the meme in the ad pokes fun that “No Babies” is an added bonus of their “acne medication.” But let’s unpack that a bit further.
The first line of defense of the contraception is to literally prevent conception by suppressing ovulation or stopping sperm, but that doesn’t always work. A bit farther down the line of defenses, hormonal contraception can prevent implantation of the new life by thinning the endometrium (uterine lining) to the point that it is inhospitable.
It seems relevant to add here that, when oral contraception first came onto the scene in the mid-1900s, the medical field knew that people with morals would not buy their pills if they knew it could kill their newly-conceived children. So, they persuaded the American College of Obsetricians and Gynocologists (ACOG) to change the definition of pregnancy to begin at implantation, not conception, in order to create a moral loophole.
The Philosophy is Anti-Woman.
An RN and friend of Students for Life said it best, “Hormonal contraception is anti-woman. Our bodies are amazing and beautiful, yet it’s become acceptable to fully shut down the entire female system and deem that an acceptable “cure” for a specific condition, instead of treating the condition itself. It’s a Band-Aid, a masking of symptoms, not a solution.”
One could easily imagine a male doctor of decades past, thinking to himself, “Gosh, the female body is complicated. Maybe I could just shut down the female parts so I don’t have to do extra stuff.”
Why don’t we deserve the same specific treatment for ailments that are expected for other parts of the body? When other health conditions arise, we don’t just shut down the bodily system that’s affiliated. A chronic stomachache doesn’t call for a pill that shuts down the digestive system. So why do we jump on board with a “fix” that unnaturally and dangerously eliminates what makes us beautifully female, instead of demanding solutions for the actual issues?
Take endometriosis, for example. Endo is a painful condition in which the uterine lining, which is supposed to only line the inside of the uterus, grows outside of it as well. Often, it causes intensely painful periods. It affects approximately 176 MILLION women worldwide. On top of being excruciating, it is commonly dismissed by doctors who abhorrently deem their patients “wimps who can’t handle some cramps.” There is literally a suicide rate associated with this condition due to the combination of pain, dismissive doctors, and the lack of a good cure.
We can do Better.
We can do better in all facets surrounding birth control, not just acne. We can stop taking the easy way out, teaching medical students and nurses that birth control is a one-stop-shop for women’s health. We can demand transparency from the corporations pushing these drugs, like disclaimers about cancer risk and abortifacient properties. We deserve informed consent, at the very least.
Feminism is indeed the notion that women are people, too. So let’s treat women’s health problems with the specific attention we deserve – not just throw toxic pills at us and wish us luck.