Former talk-show host and self-described feminist Ricki Lake is producing a new documentary that will examine the dangers of commonly used hormonal birth control, inadvertently taking aim at one of the abortion industry’s foundational philosophies.
Based on the book Sweetening the Pill or How We Became Hooked on Hormonal Birth Control, by Holly Grigg-Spall, the documentary will look at the harmful side effects of common contraceptives such as the pill, Yaz and Yasmin, and the NuvaRing. The film, also titled Sweetening the Pill, is scheduled for release in 2015.
“In the 50 years since its release, the birth control pill has become synonymous with women’s liberation and has been thought of as some sort of miracle drug,” said Lake and documentary director Abby Epstein. “But now it’s making women sick. Our goal with this film is to wake women up to the unexposed side effects of these powerful medications and the unforeseen consequences of repressing women’s natural cycles.”
As LifeSiteNews.com notes, hormonal contraceptives have been linked or potentially linked to multiple health risks, including cervical cancer, breast cancer, glaucoma, blood clots, heart attacks, strokes, partial blindness, and even death. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services also warns of risks, including stroke, heart attack, blood clots, high blood pressure, and bone loss.
Despite this, the upcoming documentary is already facing backlash. Celebrity blogger Perez Hilton and Jezebel.com writer Hillary Crosley have claimed Lake is trying to “scare” people off the pill. And Slate.com has accused Lake of “making an anti-birth control movie” based on a “terribly bogus book.”
But for Lake and Epstein, who also have collaborated on documentaries on natural birth and nursing, the issue is one of helping women make informed choices.
Although not a pro-life documentary, the film poses a threat to the pro-abortion movement. Nurse-turned-pro-life speaker Jill Stanek writes that abortionists are linked “financially and philosophically” to the pill, with contraceptive services comprising 34 percent of Planned Parenthood’s services and hormonal contraceptives comprising more than 57 percent of all contraceptives Planned Parenthood sells.
The Guttmacher Institute reports that 99 percent of U.S. women ages 15-44 who have had sexual intercourse have used at least one form of contraception. Of women using contraception, more than 27 percent currently use the pill, although four out of every five women who have ever had sexual intercourse have used the pill at one time.
Rita Diller, director of the American Life League’s Stop Planned Parenthood Project (STOPP), also sees a deliberate agenda, saying organizations like Planned Parenthood and pharmaceutical companies have “hidden the truth” about contraceptives for the sake of profit. “The truth about contraception is finally being made known, at the cost of the lives of untold numbers of women and girls who have died or suffered irreparable harm because of the pill,” she said.