The Business of Birth Control is a new documentary directed by Abby Epstein and produced by Ricki Lake, who achieved international acclaim for their revolutionary 2008 film, "The Business of Being Born". Abby joins us today to discuss why she and Ricki made their new film, which boldly shines a light on some of the severe side effects that accompany hormonal birth control, including death -- and the fact that congress, and the pharmaceuticals who make the pill, have long known about these adverse outcomes and have done nothing about it. Most disturbing of all, even though women have gathered, protested and demanded a safer and better-quality pill since the 1960s when these side-effects became known, there has been absolutely no advance in technology nor any improvement in safety standards in decades. In fact, the majority of the budget is allocated toward marketing and advertising. And while most bereaved families have been gagged in exchange for financial settlements, in the film we meet the parents of those who refused and who are demanding change. Did you know a full fifty-percent of women who go on the pill come off it due to side effects? This only drives up the risk of unwanted pregnancies. We also discuss the lack of informed consent and unnecessary risks taken with women and young, prepubescent girls, who are encouraged to go on the pill to clear up acne. Abby gives us an insider's look into how the film is spun in the media as controversial and is mischaracterized as "anti-birth control" when the opposite is true: The Business of Birth Control is overt in its demand for safer birth control and more education; and, for those who wish to come off the pill, it seeks to empower women to understand their fertility cycles so they can choose the birth control that's safest and most effective for them. Abby and Ricki have been on a busy media tour and we're so grateful they came on the Down to Birth Show to invite us into this important conversation regarding women's health, choice, autonomy and consent. To view The Business of Birth Control, visit the website and use promo code DOWNTOBIRTH to stream at 50% off. ********** Connect with Cynthia and Trisha at: Work with Cynthia: Work with Trisha at: Please remember we don’t provide medical advice, and to speak with your licensed medical provider related to all your healthcare matters. Thanks so much for joining in the conversation, and see you next week!
The Business of Birth Control is a new documentary directed by Abby Epstein and produced by Ricki Lake, who achieved international acclaim for their revolutionary 2008 film, "The Business of Being Born". Abby joins us today to discuss why she and Ricki made their new film, which boldly shines a light on some of the severe side effects that accompany hormonal birth control, including death -- and the fact that congress, and the pharmaceuticals who make the pill, have long known about these adverse outcomes and have done nothing about it. Most disturbing of all, even though women have gathered, protested and demanded a safer and better-quality pill since the 1960s when these side-effects became known, there has been absolutely no advance in technology nor any improvement in safety standards in decades. In fact, the majority of the budget is allocated toward marketing and advertising. And while most bereaved families have been gagged in exchange for financial settlements, in the film we meet the parents of those who refused and who are demanding change.
Did you know a full fifty-percent of women who go on the pill come off it due to side effects? This only drives up the risk of unwanted pregnancies. We also discuss the lack of informed consent and unnecessary risks taken with women and young, prepubescent girls, who are encouraged to go on the pill to clear up acne.
Abby gives us an insider's look into how the film is spun in the media as controversial and is mischaracterized as "anti-birth control" when the opposite is true: The Business of Birth Control is overt in its demand for safer birth control and more education; and, for those who wish to come off the pill, it seeks to empower women to understand their fertility cycles so they can choose the birth control that's safest and most effective for them. Abby and Ricki have been on a busy media tour and we're so grateful they came on the Down to Birth Show to invite us into this important conversation regarding women's health, choice, autonomy and consent.
To view The Business of Birth Control, visit the website and use promo code DOWNTOBIRTH to stream at 50% off.
Connect with Cynthia and Trisha at:
Work with Cynthia:
Work with Trisha at:
Please remember we don’t provide medical advice, and to speak with your licensed medical provider related to all your healthcare matters. Thanks so much for joining in the conversation, and see you next week!
My newest film, which I've done in conjunction with my producing partner, Ricki Lake, is the business of birth control, the pharmaceutical companies aren't suddenly going to decide that, you know, they want to have safer products or more non hormonal alternatives or options for men is not going to happen from the top down, right? It's only going to happen, the change is only going to happen from women, understanding how they haven't been served. And pushing back, you have over half of the women taking birth control going off of it, because of side effects. We're not demanding real equity and health care and research. And I think it's shifting now. I really think it's shifting, absolutely shifting.
I'm Cynthia Overgard, owner of HypnoBirthing of Connecticut, childbirth advocate and postpartum support specialist. And I'm Trisha Ludwig, certified nurse midwife and international board certified lactation consultant. And this is the Down To Birth Podcast. Childbirth is something we're made to do. But how do we have our safest and most satisfying experience in today's medical culture? Let's dispel the myths and get down to birth.
Hi, I'm Abby Epstein. I'm a documentary film director. And I directed the documentary The Business of Being Born, which came out in 2008. And I've done a bunch of films since then, including a film called We the people that's on Netflix about medical cannabis. And my newest film, which I've done in conjunction with my producing partner, Ricki Lake, is the business of birth control. So I'm here today to talk to everybody a little bit about birth control, and hormones and this film, and why birth control is a problem that people don't know they're experiencing. Right.
Exactly. And I think that, you know, I think that it's funny, because sometimes people hear the title of the movie, and it's, you know, the business of birth control. And they think, Oh, it's a movie about access. You know, it's a movie about access. And so it's kind of hard to say, well, it's a really more nuanced conversation. Yes, we are very pro access, of course. But no, it's really looking at I think, this kind of not only, like, huge lack of informed consent, around hormonal birth control, and misinformation, but I think lack of body literacy, lack of cycle knowledge. And really, I think, you know, it lines up very much along the same ground as the business of being born, you know, in the sense that you don't know what you don't know. And I think, you know, so many, so many folks were going into the birth process, so many parents, just really uninformed and really not understanding what their rights were, what their options were, that there were any options. And this is really the same. You know, I think this is really about something that's just been so accepted. In our society. It's very routine. It's like a rite of passage. You turn a certain age and you go on the pill. I think the key similarity between this movie and the business of being born is about the medicalization. And the pharmaceutical medicalization, in particular, the chemical medicalization of something that can otherwise be handled and or managed, or experienced naturally. And a quote from early in the documentary was that of a doctor saying, we don't need you to ovulate unless you're having a baby. Can you talk a little bit about that and help our audience to understand the significance of that comment?
Sure. Yeah. And that was Dr. Laura Bryden, who's a naturopathic doctor who wrote period repair manual, and her new book is called hormone repair manual. And, you know, she really talks a lot about menstrual suppression, and suppression of ovulation. And I think that, you know, as most girls, you know, learn about their cycle, you generally learn that sort of the bleed is the period, you know, and I think what Dr. Bryden is referring to in that comment, is that really ovulation is the star of the show, okay, because ovulation is the moment in the cycle where we not only release an egg, but it's also how we make our hormones. So that's how we actually make Take progesterone and estrogen. So she says, you know that really shutting that off completely would be the same thing as going up to men and saying, Well, we're just going to shut off your testosterone until you want to have a baby. And then we're going to, you know, turn your testosterone back on. And we can all imagine, right, how destructive that would be. But nobody really talks about what are the long term effects, you know, for those with a uteruses like shutting off this function, this monthly function of our body, you know, to control fertility has repercussions.
And it doesn't have just repercussions for the long term, it has significant repercussions on a monthly basis, because our hormones are not just about our ovaries and getting pregnant, those hormones are interacting with every part of our body and our brain. And when women suppress their menstrual cycles, we know that there is a whole huge host of side effects, one of them being suicidal thoughts and death. Yeah, that's not discussed.
No, none of that is discussed. And I think it's rather criminal. You know, and I think everybody has a personal journey, right, with hormonal contraceptives. I know, I have my story. And you know, nobody warned me what was going to happen. And I thought I was like having a nervous breakdown. Like I literally didn't understand what was going on. I was just waking up in the morning, like, hysterically crying. And that's, you know, I don't even want to say it's an oversight. I mean, I want to say it is just, it's, it's outrageous that I think there is now science to absolutely connect a lot of the side effects mental and emotional and physical. There's a plethora of studies that show these, you know, correlations. And I think that to not, you know, to be sort of handing out prescriptions without giving people proper informed consent is going to change, because I can tell you right now, but I'm looking at, you know, making this film, talking to millennials, and you know, Gen Y, and Gen Z. They're not like, you know, my generation, they don't just take a pill because someone told them to and trust. That's not the world we live in anymore. People's eyes are much, you know, we understand that we are living in a culture that values profits over people. And certainly women's health is at the bottom of the barrel. And that if there's a billion dollar industry behind something, they will make sure that the information doesn't get out, they will they know how to market things, in a certain way. And I think it's there's a lot of marketing that goes into this. And I think now is really the time, you know, to stand up and say, look, we've had this pill for 60 years, there's been like, no innovation, and it's time to just stand up and say, you know, come on, where's the gender equity in this? You know, where and where are, where's the innovation? Like, where's the kinder, safer birth control?
Where's the conversation around risk and benefit and alternatives? Where's the conversation around choice? I loved the part in the film where the one couple pulled out the package insert. And she's got this massive insert that looks like it's the size of a quilt practically. And she's looking at it going like how, how am I supposed to I'm not reading this who look how much information is on here to tell me about the risks of this prescription that you just have given my daughter just basically because she said she needed some birth control, no conversation, it's literally a five minute visit. Here it is we'll check your blood pressure, if that's okay, take it and run. Meanwhile, look at the amount of information that is on this package insert. And there's no warning that says the dangers of this pill. Nobody's reading that. Nobody's talking about that. They're just taking the medication. And also you guys mentioned in the film that you know, when somebody dies from a DVT from the birth control pill that's not getting connected. No, it's not like getting back to their OBGYN or their primary care saying this is the cause. That's right.
I thought the most powerful parts of the movie beyond that of meeting all the families who lost their their daughters that was just unbelievable. I like there were just so many and you just wonder how many there really are that you weren't in contact with? But I thought the most powerful part of the documentary other than that was all the old congressional footage that you obtained. I loved that part. And when you had the woman and showed her decades earlier, and they were fighting in Congress, and they were there, and they were calling out and being unruly, God bless them being really unruly. And when there were women at the mic who lost their daughters and parents who lost their daughters, looking in the eyes of Pharma, and all the rhetoric, they go, we're so sorry for your loss. And we really ultimately decided these risks aren't substantial enough to do anything about. They know. And everyday that's still happening to this day with other things. This is this is how it works here. I mean, what do you what do you want to do want to say about that?
I agree. And I think, you know, when I started making the movie, like six years ago, I was so naive. And I just was like, Well, wait a minute. I mean, if one girl died, one woman died. Why wouldn't this be pulled off the market? And I really, um, I remember, I was talking to a very high profile OBGYN on the phone. And that's what I what I said to her. And she hit back at me so hard, and so aggressively. And she said, Have you ever seen somebody die in childbirth, and that is how they are justifying these deaths, they are saying that the risk of a blood clot or the risk of dying in childbirth is higher. So they are using a false comparison in their statistics. Again, it's a marketing spin. But this doctor the way she spit that back at me so angrily without an ounce of compassion. That's when I knew Oh, wow. You know, this is like, there's there are gatekeepers here. And these doctors are really indoctrinated and really believe that the risks are acceptable, because they can sort of justify it with the opposite of being on the NuvaRing as being pregnant, which is just ridiculous.
So I think that's a really important part of the conversation, because obviously, there are, there are dangers, there are some risks with pregnancy, especially in certain populations, certain people. And you know, a teenager becoming pregnant is a life altering event that puts their mental health and emotional health at risk for the long term. But the solution is not to simply say that the risk of the NuvaRing, or the risk of the pill is less than the risk of pregnancy, the solution is to say, well, guess what, we still have to prevent pregnancy, pregnancy prevention is critical, very important. But how? How can we what other choices do we have? What alternatives do we give them? And if we are going to give them a drug to, for birth control, if we are going to give them a drug for birth control? Are we really giving them true, informed consent, and they're not most girls come in and get their pill and actually don't even have any idea or awareness that there's only a very short window of time every month that they can get pregnant, they don't need to be on a pill for 30 days, when they can only get pregnant five days out of the month, if they understand how their bodies working. And so that's them about that. They have options, you can abstain. You don't have to go on any birth control abstain for seven days of the month, and you never have to take a pill and you have complete autonomy and control and safety and health for your back.
No, I agree. I mean, the pill has a real diplomatic immunity around it. It's very convenient. Even in that old footage of the Nelson Palin hearings. That's what she she stands up and says she says you're murdering us for your profit and convenience. And I think that it's you know, it works as a bandaid for reproductive health issues. But I think this body literacy issue, you know, I was at a screening of the film in Orlando Monday night, and this young woman came up to me after the screening, and she said that she had gotten pregnant and given a baby up for adoption. And now she read Tony Wexler, his book taking charge of your fertility, and she's doing the fertility awareness method. And she is enthralled with it, you know, and I thought it was such an amazing story, because I thought, my God, if this young woman had had that book, she probably wouldn't have had that unplanned pregnancy and given that baby up for adoption, because that book would have explained to her, you know, how to avoid pregnancy, but I thought it was so beautiful, right? Because instead of, you know, then going on an IUD or some kind of implant, you know what I mean, because of having had that experience of an unplanned pregnancy instead, she went the other way, you know, and was like, No, I'm controlling this. I'm taking care of this. And, you know, it was just it was such a beautiful story because I think very Much like the world of childbirth, that you guys know, you know, women are pushed on to products because of fear. And a lot of times they are pushed on at their six week postpartum visit, or, you know, they are told by the provider, you will get pregnant, you absolutely will get pregnant if you are not on this, this, this and for women of color, it's, you know, 10 times worse. I mean, they are really, really coerced into more long acting, you know, reproductive measures, and you know, these appointments are, are short, and they're hurried, and people are stressed, and they don't, they can't say, oh, you want me to put in an IUD? Well, you know, Can I think about it? Could I come back? No one has time to come back. You know what I mean? It's just like, there's no time to share the information. And I and I think there's just a lot of pressure because of this, this fear.
So I think the lack of informed consent is a lot of it. And also, I think it's not uncommon for doctors to name the most common side effect rather than the most severe side effect. It's like, well, so they can't even agree on the side effect. Like we're, we're developing a masterclass that we're releasing to follow up the movie. And so it's a nine part masterclass, that drops in really, really deep. And then episode three, where we talk about side effects and risks. I mean, doctors can't even agree on if the pill makes you gain weight. Like, we have doctors saying that, well, if you look at the literature, it clinically is not supposed to make you gain weight. But like, that's not what I'm seeing in my patient population. Like they can't even agree on the data.
Because our hormones are extremely. It's they're very complex, the pill works differently in in different bodies. So it is hard to it is hard to name very specific side, you can't say this is going to be your side effect. And this is not, you're not going to experience this, it really is a wide range. And they so they really do have to discuss all of them. But most importantly, they need to be explaining to women that we don't really know how this is going to impact your body.
But they should say at least someone has died.
If you have certain risk factors, they will say that or they will say that the pill is unsafe for you. But if you don't check any risk factor boxes, that's generally not brought up.
Right, but it doesn't make any sense. Because Why are you in a like screen women for factor five Lydon before they have a baby but not screen them before? You know, they're put on hormonal birth control. And one of the girls in our movie, one of the parents in our movie, his daughter died on the pill. Turns out she had factor five Leiden, right, which is a clotting clotting disorder, why? That's a simple test. That's a simple test, you know, you should know, like, people have learned how to advocate for thermography with mammograms or ultrasound with mammograms and the difference between, you know, dense breast tissue, I mean, women have become had to become their own advocates, you know. So it's like, now this is something like, you have to know you have to lobby for yourself and being like, I need to check, do I have any of these mutations or clotting disorders, because all women are told or if you smoke, or if you're over 35, or if you're overweight? That's an otherwise you'd now look at all the women who died in our movie, not one of them had any of those conditions, you know, and another extraordinary statistic and correct me if I'm not remembering it correctly, but it said something like 45% of women who are given the birth control pill or not even getting on the pill for reasons related to birth control, but reproductive health, like young 14 year olds, to regulate their period and all these other things. What what is this push? Is it financial? I guess it's financial, why should i How can I even ask, if they're pushing young kids on the pill?
I mean, yeah, that standard is discussion because, you know, there's nothing if you think about it, it's like, you know, if your daughter, let's say, is 14 years old, and it's an athlete, and is having, you know, such painful or heavy menstrual cycles that is interfering with school or sports. I mean, most you know, mothers are not going to like, call up the naturopath or, you know, go to like Elisa video, like a hormonal health expert. You know, they're not because we don't have like, period, you know, doulas, which we should and so they're going to go into an allopathic you know, medical office and have a short appointment with the OB GYN and because they will just put her on the pill, take care of everything. Take care of everything. Her periods will be light, easy. The cramping will go away. She won't have to deal with it. You know, and there is an end sometimes, you know, I think it's really hard to look at lifestyle interventions for like a teenager. How you're gonna get a tea teenager to like stop eating gluten or dairy or sugar? So look, I think that again, it's it's scary to me because some of these girls, a lot of these girls are getting put on the pill before they even establish a menstrual cycle. That is really it. That's a super important point, because that's happening is they're on the pill for the next 10 or 15 years. And then they finally decide that they want to have children and they come off the pill and they can't get pregnant.
Why would anyone go on the pill before they get their first period?
What? Well, you know, acne is a huge gate. Oh, wait, I remember that acne. I can't believe that they're taking these risks with girls because of acne or women because of acne? Well, yeah, it's the mini pill. It's called the mini pill. You see how they marketed it? It's like, is it definitely it is the mini pill? Yeah, because it doesn't have estrogen. I think it just has progesterone, progestin.
And it still has the adverse outcomes.
Yes, it doesn't. Yes, it's it's different. You know, look, I think, I think now there are certain, it's interesting, like a month ago, I think, I don't know if you guys saw this, but the model, Hailey Bieber, she had a stroke on the mini pill and came out in talking about that she had these migraines and that it was never linked. Like, that's something that is so basic, like, I can't tell you how many stories I've heard of women who ended up in the hospital with a blood clot or an embolism and look back in their history. At some point along the way, there was a migraine with aura, there was a migraine, you know, it really increases your your risk dramatically, like doubles your risk of having, you know, some kind of an incident like that. And I think that's just something so simple, so simple. Like, why why aren't you know, like women even warned of that, that, you know, if you're not a good candidate for a certain oral contraceptive, maybe a different kind of contraceptive, but not like an oral pill if you have migraine or migraine with aura. So I find that the problem is, you know, the safety profile, and mitigating the side effects. We could we could be in such a more evolved place. The reason we're not, is because we've shut down the conversation, in the name of access in the name of feminism, we have shut down this conversation. And let me tell you making this film, I can tell you right now, this conversation is not welcome.
I was just going to ask you that. Yeah. Who has tried to intervene or stop you has pharma done anything to? Or how has it not been welcomed?
Oh, it's, it's it's very transparent. I mean, any television show that Ricki and I would go on to promote this movie. They will not show a clip. We will send them six or seven clips, there is not one clip that will get past their, their legal team.
You know why? Because all the Yeah, because pharmaceuticals have all their their all the sponsors, of course measures. That's right. And they've also, you know, corporate media is a huge problem in this country. But I mean, farmers, you know, they own all the messaging, you're not going to see a segment, you know, on the Today Show, where they show a clip, even there are certain TV show hosts or anchors who actually wanted to do like an entire program on the movie, and they weren't allowed. So we've seen it very transparently, in terms of like television broadcast. And then it's interesting, because I think with media, what we saw is that when the movie like first premiered at film festivals, and was just being reviewed as a movie, right, we got all these incredible reviews from like, very reputable, you know, whatever, Vanity Fair or SELF magazine, indie wire, you know, reviewing it as this incredibly compelling, important urgent documentary that should be seen by every woman, right? Then, like a month after the film came out, we started getting these like hit pieces, you know, like real hit pieces that were clearly motivated, I would say by people that have an investment in the sale of these products.
What some examples of a hit piece tell us what you're referring to, you know, I mean, there's a there's a bunch of them, but it's just you know, like, what does it mean a hit piece tell it how do you describe what Yeah, describe what that means. Um, it's a piece that's coming out in mainstream media that's talking about the movie, but but slamming it in a way that saying like, nothing to look at over here, people don't look at this. There's nothing to look at here. You know, and Look, we got that for the business of being born. And we were proven right, 14 years later, we were like, way ahead of the curve on that. And I think it will be the same with this film. I think we're ahead of our time. And I think, you know, people will look back, but yeah, I mean, they're desperately don't want people to see this movie, or take it seriously. So they write, they discredit it, or they write very biased articles, or they'll go to like one doctor as their medical source. And then when you look that doctor up, she's on the board of a company that sells birth control pills. She's on the board of a company that sells, you know, HRT. So it's a total conflict of interest that they don't reveal. But the thing that warms my heart a little bit is that sometimes when they've run those kind of like slander pieces, or negative, you know, press pieces, if you look in social media, and then you look under the where they've posted their article at the top, like 15 comments, you see that, like, women aren't buying it. They're they're literally they're like, oh, paid pharma post alert, or they'll say things like, well, you know, why are you saying this movie is fear mongering? If it's true, you know, because that's one of their big things. Oh, is this fear mongering fear mongering? Well, how is it fear mongering, if it's actually true, but so that that really, like, you know, made me feel better when I saw that the public is now too too sharp? And they were coming back at the journalists, you know, saying, Well, this was my experience, and the pill almost killed me or the NuvaRing almost killed me or, you know, I was depressed for five years, and they're all telling their personal stories. And, and that's another thing that's so insulting to me. I was so like, another thing they'll use to critique the film is they'll say that we're using anew data. Right? Well, if you're not researching, that's their word for anecdotal. Yeah, anak data. So if you're not researching women's health, and they're, you're not doing studies, then what else? Yes. And it's valid. Well, and most research studies begin with anecdotal data. That's the starting point. That's how you get that's where you create a research study from, oh, we've been observing that this has been happening, let's do a study. Yes, that starts with anecdotal information.
I think so too, you know, and I think that it's very sad to me, and again, I saw this with the business of being born. But I don't like when I see women, you know, gaslighting other women, it's like, we get enough gaslighting from the medical profession, you know, we don't need to be gaslighting each other. And that that's what I, you know, really bothers me is like, you can see some of the comments like, Well, I've been on the pill for 15 years, it's the best thing that ever happened to be good for you. But, you know, don't discredit this woman's experience, like, an I find that it's this kind of like internalized misogyny that just like, drives me nuts, you know? Because it yes, it's threatening, I understand. It's scary to say that birth control isn't solved, I get it, it like opens up a big Pandora's box, and especially now with Roe v. Wade overturn. People are trying to say, well, you know, if we lose the federal right to abortion, then you really can't be talking about side effects of birth control. It's like, wait a minute, so you're going to shut down a conversation that is going to erode more trust in institutions. That is why we don't have trust. And it's very problematic right now. Because we have gone through a pandemic. And most of our society does not trust the CDC does not trust the FDA, and I am not talking about conspiracy theorists. I am talking about you know, like mainstream, whatever. And that is really scary. So I feel that, you know, yes, abortion rights are threatened, even more important to talk about body sovereignty, even more important to talk about body literacy and informed consent. Because, yes, half of all pregnancies are unplanned in this country. But as we said, you have over half of the women taking birth control going off of it, because of side effects. So you know, how good how good is it really working? Right? I mean, it's not working so well. So yes, we can have both conversations. It's not a binary conversation. It's not like oh, abortion is threatened. Now you better shut shut this down. It's the opposite because that's how we've ended up in the position that we're in, because we're not demanding real equity in health care. and research, and I think it's shifting now I really think it's shifting, absolutely shifting. You know, what we've noticed is like so for example, let's say in 2007 2008, if we would screen the business of being born, right, the first question we would get at the end of every screening, usually, the first question would be like, What is a doula? Okay? Because we didn't really explain what a doula was. But we had somebody's like, kind of lower third on the screen, you know, like, this is my iris, doula. And that's all we gave. So now imagine in 2022, somebody's asking what is the doula, right, you can't really picture it. So I think it's very much the same, it's kind of like, we're on the beginning of this, of this shift, it's not going to come from the top down, the pharmaceutical companies aren't suddenly going to decide that, you know, they want to have safer products or more non hormonal alternatives or options for men, it's not going to happen from the top down, right, it's only going to happen, the change is only going to happen from women, understanding how they haven't been served, and pushing back. And, you know, demanding other options. And it's kind of interesting now, because I think with FEM tech, right with the apps, some of the apps that you can use for fertility tracking, which people also use, right for, like digital birth control. That now is interesting, because it's almost like I'm seeing kind of a shift, you know, where some of the money and farmers like, Ooh, let's capture that market. Right. And now, like that market is getting a little more competitive, I would say and dirty, and people are complaining that they're selling data behind women's backs. And suddenly, women are scared to even use these fertility tracking.
So it's like, unfortunately, there's no like, pure player in this. You know, it's like, anytime you're dealing with corporations, and boards and money, and you know, profit, there's always going to be some, you always have to be, I think, very careful in like, who you put your trust in. And, you know, I think in the movie, we were very, very careful about vetting every single person that speaks in that movie, their credentials, you know, their training, all of the data, everything that we present, you know, we really, we really took pains to make sure so that, you know, wouldn't be like somebody to, because right nowadays, you can cancel anything by saying, Oh, they have that doctor, she's antivax. And that's it, you're canceled, your home movies canceled? It's really, you know, a crazy time we're living in do you think this film is going to influence large organizations like Planned Parenthood? Do you think they're going to make changes in how they discuss birth control as a result of this?
I mean, in the beginning, I had this idea that we would like come up with this checklist for Planned Parenthood, you know, like some kind of a questionnaire that they would use about clotting disorders or mental health or something. But the deeper I got into it, the more that I sort of see that the problem is, as long as there is an issue around access, okay. So as long as there is a force in this country that wants Planned Parenthood to be destroyed, right? It's really hard to request anything that is going to in any way, like create a barrier, like, you know, their job is like, get that NuvaRing in that person's hand, get that pill packet, get them the stuff, you know, and if you create any sort of layer of safety, or whatever you want to call it, it becomes I think, to them an impediment and I think you saw in the movie that like Planned Parenthood was actually lobbying for Yaz and Yasmin, these pills that carry a much higher risk of blood clots to stay on the market. They were lobbying and and it's because they really believe that we just need all the options. And I think that I just think the mentality, like the framework is going to have to shift and I think it's, it's, I think it has to come from the culture and I see it happening with the youth right now. That's what I really see happening. And I'm shocked that I would meet a 24 year old or 23 year old or 16 year old with a copper IUD, but I am and you know, it's it's or you know, using fertility where This method and you know, this is something very, very new. I do think that I don't know, will we see institutions shift, maybe maybe in 10 years, you know, only only ultimately probably in response to demand from the consumer just like it is with birth, it'll come from us, it'll come from the women will come from the youth uprising, and don't have to change to accommodate, because that's the only way their business is sustainable.
Because don't forget, it's just kind of like tobacco industry. You know, you can't sue. It's like one of the girls who died in our film, Erica langhart. I mean, they were told that this case was going to court that this would be like the first of its kind, that she would have a real trial that they would look at the NuvaRing. At the circumstances regarding her death. There's a fantastic 2013 article in Vanity Fair by Murray Brenner called danger in the ring. And Marie Brenner does an amazing job of tracking all the research from the new ring. And you know, it's sort of journey to come to the market. Now, they could never get a day in court, ever, because there is no lawyer who will go up against Big Pharma. So you end up with these big class action lawsuits, where everybody gets paid out, and then they're gagged, and then they're not allowed to talk. So you never hear the stories. You don't know what happened, you know, so it's not like, look at the cigarette industry or any industry, right? You always had sort of like a landmark, you know, court victory where like a lung cancer patients or you know, somebody was able to kind of break through and then suddenly, the cigarette companies had to like change their labels or change their ways. I don't see how that can happen because of a case like Erica Lang hearts, right, if a healthy 24 year old, with no pre existing conditions, conditions, can just drop dead on the Nuva ring. And that can never go to trial, ever, despite her parents refusing to take a dime, not wanting to be a part testifying at the FDA could not get the case to court, then they refuse to take the settlement money. All they want is for this to not happen to another person's daughter. It's all there aren't that it's it was just so painful, because the energy involved, they have to travel, they have to be everywhere, they have to fight and they can't even fight for their own daughter anymore. It was just so we as the viewer would have felt happy if they had a pilot but of course, you're right. If we were them. It's like, are you it's an insult, like you're offering me money. It's It's It's It's so frustrating. All right, well, we didn't get into so many important things from the movie. And we hope everyone will see this. We did get into how it affects libido, learning insomnia, memory, anxiety, depression, stroke, and your I mean, we didn't get into partner partner choice. I just want to say that we I know anyone speaking with you and learning about this just wants to thank you both so much for creating this movie for making another change that the world needed for bringing something like this mainstream for having the courage to stand up to pharma and anyone else in the mainstream media who you know, isn't gonna give you the the attention you deserve with this. Thank you for doing this. And how can everyone watch this movie.
So if you're in the US and Canada, you can just go to the business of birth control.com and rent the movie. And we're gonna make a code for all of your community down to birth, all caps, so you can get 50% off your streaming rentals. And if you're not in the United States, we are premiering in the UK this week. And we hope to have worldwide distribution soon. But for now, we have an international wait list that you can sign up for on our website. So really, it's super easy. You just go to the business of birth control.com And you can follow us on social media. We're at business of birth control. We have a really active online community and we post things all the time about free screening events like we're having this week at our masterclass which is launching this summer where we really go into nine episodes that drop into deeper deeper detail about so many topics in the movie for people who just you know, want to follow up that learn more and figure out what to do next.
Thank you for joining us at the Down To Birth Show. You can reach us @downtobirthshow on Instagram or email us at Contact@DownToBirthShow.com. All of Cynthia’s classes and Trisha’s breastfeeding services are offered live online, serving women and couples everywhere. Please remember this information is made available to you for educational and informational purposes only. It is in no way a substitute for medical advice. For our full disclaimer visit downtobirthshow.com/disclaimer. Thanks for tuning in, and as always, hear everyone and listen to yourself.
Is that for is it for just the general population for professionals? All of us?
It's for everyone. Yeah, it's really for everyone. You know, could be for as young as high school all the way up. We just you know, all the episodes are broken down. You can see it on our website. Um, so yeah, we're hoping that provides people more you know, support and information and a community also to talk about these things.
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