Letter 37: Letter from Mariah
Reading your story and the letters that have been written to you has been a heartbreaking wake-up call. You were a strong advocate for your health, and your parents have become immovable advocates for the health of young women everywhere. I admire your drive to take care of yourself, and it is incredibly sad and unfair that your life was taken far too soon by a drug that is supposed to help women.
Like so many others who have written to you, I was prescribed birth control as a young teen. I think back now and realize that I have no recollection of what pills I took. I trusted that my doctor and my parents would know if they were harmful and never allow me to take something that could be dangerous. Initially, I took birth control for health reasons, just as you did, and yet drugs like Yaz and Yasmin can do so much more harm than good. As I got older, I realized that I needed to advocate for my own health and do the research to know what I was putting in my body. I am so thankful that I was given the time to come to that conclusion. I wish, Annie, that you had been given that time. First and foremost, I wish you wouldn’t have needed it, that your doctor would have realized how dangerous Yaz can be. Better yet, I wish that your doctor didn’t need to think about it because it wasn’t on the market. But it was, and doctors were told it was safe, and you paid the ultimate price.
It astounds me that Yaz and other birth controls like it are still on the market. Society and science have come so far, and yet there are still deadly drugs being prescribed. Birth control is an incredible thing that gives women more autonomy over their bodies and their sexual well-being, but it is still a drug, and all drugs pose some amount of risk. I believe that the risks of Yaz and drugs like it are far too high to be on the market, especially when there are safer alternatives available. Your story has inspired me to continue to advocate not only for my own health but for women’s health as a whole.
George Washington University '22