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Saturday, January 31, 2004

Condoms Prevent More than Pregnancy.

They also prevent the dissemination of accurate information about sexually transmitted diseases; and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists is willing to cooperate.

This is old news, by media standards, but then by mainstream media standards it wasn't news at all, which is why it didn't come to public attention at the time. Essentially, what happened was that the congress attempted to pass a cancer treatment bill that included the requirement to educate the public about HPV, which is responsible for 90-95% of cervical cancers. The condom lobby effectively killed it; they do not want word getting out that condoms do not prevent the most prevalent sexually transmitted disease.

The 2000 federal bill is not the only instance of the suppression of information where condoms are concerned, nor the most recent. In 2001, a state bill in California attempted to do the same thing. The AIDS lobby, too, fought the idea of truth in labeling. Evidently they fear that if people know the truth about condoms, that they are not nearly as effective at preventing disease as the condom industry would have you believe, they will not use them. Never mind the idea of finding a more effective prevention (like, say, abstinence or monogamy?); the AIDS lobby would rather have people using a far less effective safeguard, with a false impression of security.

At what point do these lobbies admit that the public has a right to know?

The condom companies are not the only ones misrepresenting the truth about contraception, either. Although birth control pills are known to have a "combined effect" of inhibiting ovulation and preventing implantation, they do not present themselves to the public as abortifacient. Recently when I was in a doctor's office, I was reading a laminated poster (provided by a contraception company) outlining birth control options in chart form. Oral contraceptives, progesterone-only products, and the IUD were all listed as contraceptives. It takes a good deal of redefining to call a product "contraceptive" that does not prevent conception. "Contraception" means "against conception." If, with a birth control product, conception takes place, and the "products of conception" are eliminated, the action of the product simply cannot be contraceptive. Yet the drug companies are allowed to continue to list abortifacient products as contraceptive.

As in the case of the condom labeling, companies that market birth control pills are denying the public information in the name of "choice." But if a choice is not allowed to be an informed choice, is it any choice at all? And if you call the deceit "choice," does it minimize the danger to the patient?

A woman who contracts HPV because she believed the condom manufacturer's claim that condoms protect users from disease is no less at risk for cancer because of the rhetoric of the AIDS lobby; and a woman who uses oral contraceptives while being lied to about their abortifacient quality has not been given a legitimate choice at all. Because the drug companies have more powerful lobbies than the "ordinary person" their interests sometimes come before the safety and right to informed consent of the patient or customer.

Evidently the finances of fornication supercede the right to truth in labeling.