The HHS Mandate Ignores Health Risks Associated with Contraception: Alice’s Story

By Alice, WSFT member

No one speaks for all women on these issues. Women Speak For Themselves.

The HHS Mandate ignores the health risks associated with contraception. It is misleading and irresponsible.

I was privileged to grow up in an extended family. My grandparents hosted a family meal every Sunday for all of my cousins (20+) and their parents. As large families go, the cousins seemed to come in pairs. I was paired with a female cousin who was born 10 days prior to me.

Cecilia Marie (we just called her CiCi) and I were raised like twins. Though cousins, we often considered ourselves sisters during our early years. This waned a bit in high school and college as we both became determined to be our own persons.

In college, we both attended the same University for two years together. During that time, CiCi succumbed to the popular culture. She found the excitement that comes from sexual freedom made “responsible” when one contracepted. When we discussed the “ills” of this lifestyle, she would become obstinate and tell me to mind my own business. That’s what I did.

A few years later (still on contraception), CiCi met and married her husband. She and her husband conceived and bore two children; a son and a daughter. Shortly thereafter, she had her tubes tied. In her mind, her fertility had served its purpose.

As fate would have it, we both moved to the same city. Once again, we took on the role of cousins and renewed the affection we once had as children. It was also wonderful to watch our first born sons start school together and share similar interests.

When CiCi’s oldest was 10, CiCi received her first diagnosis of breast cancer. She opted for a lumpectomy and radiation. When her five year anniversary after the diagnosis passed, she breathed a sigh of relief. Two years later, the cancer was back.

This time, she opted for a total mastectomy and more radiation. I remember sitting with her post op praying that this would be the end of her pain. Unfortunately, that prayer was not answered.

Fast forward 5 more years to the next diagnosis. This time, the cancer was located in her bones. Again, radiation and hair loss. What was new about this diagnosis was the news that she wouldn’t beat this one. The radiation might give her some time, but, it wouldn’t fix her body. This time, she would succumb.

It was at this time, that CiCi asked her oncologist for a reason why she didn’t beat this disease. The oncologist looked at her and said, “Research is linking contraceptive use before pregnancy to this type of aggressive cancer. In reviewing your history, it is likely that your cancer is the result of early contraceptive use.”

I don’t think that she ever recovered from the shock that came from this news. She wept – no sobbed- for weeks because she could likely have prevented this. She could not get over her sadness that she would be leaving her children motherless before they were fully adults.

Cici did die about 18 months later. She did ask me to share her story with others who are buying the lies that contraceptive use is harmless and in fact, healthy. She wanted young women to know that contraceptives are carcinogens and that they do cause cancer.

No one speaks for all women on these issues. Women Speak For Themselves. Join the 40,000 plus women from all different states, political views, and religious backgrounds who are working to make their voices heard.

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