French Women Ditching the Pill

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by Anita Carey  •  •  October 30, 2017   

Side effects, health and environmental concerns are the top reasons

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DETROIT ( - A recent survey of 3,600 French women shows the growing disdain for the pill and its unintended side effects. 

Sabrina Debusquat, a French independent journalist, recently published J'arrete la pilule ("I Quit the Pill") to document the real reason so many women decide to stop taking it either temporarily or permanently.

Shortly after publishing the results, media and medical professionals decried women's choice as "defiance," implying that women were guided by fear and not reason. These doctors claimed women had an unnecessary "mistrust of the pill," and they needed to be re-educated so they could be convinced or "come to their senses," explained Debusquat.

In her survey, Debusquat asked the question: "If you have already stopped the pill, why did you?" 

The first reason women mentioned was the mild but painful side effects women experience on a daily basis. The number one cited effect was the loss of libido. She says the women consider "that beyond the risk of cancer or embolism, to have a diminished libido, to suffer from migraines, mycosis with repetition or any pain which spoils many moments of life is not 'benign.'" 


Vicki Thorn, founder of Project Rachel, notes that hormonal contraception is a Type 1 carcinogen with the same toxicity as asbestos, radium and arsenic. She says the "feminine mystique disappears" owing to the changes in women's brains, making them become more masculine. She says, "Ironically, it kills the libido — possibly permanently."

Ironically, it kills the libido — possibly permanently.

"Most women who stop the pill do so because they have experienced the side effects of a drug, and it does not suit them," Debusquat said. 

Debusquat also noted that women felt it was better for their health. She says women are questioning whether they should take medicine or hormones when they are in good health. She denounced the claims of "distrust," saying, "Following a concrete experience, they make a choice for their body, their daily well-being, their health." 

Debusquat further defended the women's claims as rational and reasonable. She notes that women have come to the realization that they are putting their own health at risk. "The 'generation no pill' calls into question the fact that it is systematically for women to cut back on their well-being to assume the risks related to contraception," she says. 

She also called out the "good old paternalistic reflex as not a pragmatic analysis of the situation." She says it shows the "word of women" is not given much merit because the doctors and media "discredit the choice that many women make for their bodies without even taking the time to understand it." 

Dedbusquat says that women stopping the use of the birth control pill question the "crucial feminist struggle," and "that it annoys us because we realize then that the pill is perhaps not the miracle contraceptive that we believed."

We realize then that the pill is perhaps not the miracle contraceptive that we believed.

She says the argument of "mistrust of the pill" avoids "dealing with the immense questioning that would imply a change in the current contraceptive paradigm." This argument dominates the discussion while "no one speaks of the real problems of substance: "90 percent of 'contraceptive suffering' is borne by women and [nature with] 'pollution induced by synthetic hormones' (which affects wildlife and comes back into the tap water that we all drink)." 

Numerous studies back up her claims that toxic chemicals in hormonal birth control affect human and wildlife populations. It has been shown to reduce the population of fish and even turn them transgender

Recently, it was also proven to lead to higher rates of abortion. Thorn explains hormonal contraception also affects men. She notes studies that show a drop in the sperm count in men over time, as well as studies on its effect on monkeys, reveal that contraception leads to a loss of interest in women or even violent behavior

As many as 70 percent of the women in Debusquat's survey suffered from undesirable side effects. She says this is the reality that women are "struggling to cope with." Doctors can only find options to "offer them fewer side effects," but other times they are told "it is in their head."

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