Letter 18: A Brave Journalist's Documentary
I continue to be flummoxed by the number of unnecessary deaths from
hormonal birth control that our government and many European
governments tolerate. Our FDA, pharmaceutical scientists, and even some
doctors focus on how rare these deaths and serious side effects are in
terms of percentages, but thousands of young, healthy Americans are being harmed.
Annie, finally we have a “Google” translation of the German documentary in which your dad and I were interviewed. Fabian Sabo, a brave philanthropic German journalist, reveals in his documentary that in this century many young healthy girls and women who live in democratic countries are suffering and being killed by drospirenone, the progestin hormone in Yaz. He focuses on a young woman who has brought suit against Bayer, which is a German company.
Fabian Sabo’s documentary was viewed by millions this past November on the German public television channel. I hope that it is translated and aired in the U.S., since Sabo’s interviews with experts and women and/or family members harmed by Bayer’s drospirenone-based birth control pills factually show the extent of the damage done to real, live, otherwise healthy young women. Despite the factual tone Sabo uses, the tragedies are so horrific that the wrongful death and harm is blatant.
In the U.S., according to BirthControlSafety.org, each year approximately 20,000 out of the 10.8 million women using hormonal birth control experience blood clots. Of them, 600 to 800 die. These numbers are thought to be conservative since many people or their families never know what really caused the clot or what caused the death. Doctors and medical examiners do not always realize that hormonal birth control caused the issue. Since so many women use hormonal birth control, even small percentages cause so much suffering -- not only to the victim but to the victim’s families and loved ones. It seems most Americans know someone who has had a minor or a major problem with hormonal birth control. Lawsuits in the United States and now in Germany have been a big factor in making the public aware, but that’s not the right way to warn women and their families.
In my next letter, I will pass on some of the tragic stories Fabian Sabo uncovered in his journalism, as well as the scientific evidence he found.
And by the way, your German exchange student brother Marcus is getting married to a lawyer in Mexico City this summer. I wanted to share that good news with you, too.