NYT Birth Control Effectiveness Comparison - Is It Accurate?
Post date: Nov 21, 2014 10:47:25 PM
You can see the inaccurate chart here: http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/09/14/... (link opens in new window)
Hmm, the NYT just released a birth control effectiveness chart comparing many methods. Surprisingly, they included something that seems vaguely intended to represent FAM on the chart. Problem? The data regarding FAM is often compiled differently than the other methods, meaning that they still include non-users with users in the effectiveness statistics, which they do not do for other methods (it's basically a way of weighing the statistics to favor pharmaceutical & surgical birth control.) Toni Weschler points this out in her book "Taking Charge of Your Fertility."
How do I know they did this for the NYT chart? Well, the FAM effectiveness is shown as being worse than either "withdrawal (pulling out before ejaculation)" or condoms. Yet, I have studies clearly showing FAM to be as effective as, or more effective than, hormonal birth control methods such as depo provera/etc.
A further hint that this data is pharmacologically-motivated is that the FAM chart does not say "Fertility Awareness Method" or "Natural Family Planning," the proper names for those methods, but says "Fertility Awareness-based," whatever THAT means. And the footnote says "Ovulation method." NOBODY ever refers to it as "Ovulation method," that's unconventional and I think that it was purposeful. Why? Because the "Rhythm Method" is not on the chart, and there is already a public perception problem wherein people confuse FAM/NFP with "the rhythm method" and think they are somehow even remotely similar. So by referring to it (I don't even know if the results are even based on FAM or if the author just use some vague, similar protocol) as "_____ method," an unconventional name that is similar to "rhythm method," and by manipulating the effectiveness statistics in a way that skew the chart in favor of surgical and pharmacological methods, I can only assume the author specifically set out to push people towards pharmacological methods - or even past those, into surgical methods. Keep in mind that a number of billionaire big-wigs (including media moguls) are on the record as supporting eugenics and sterilization; feeding the "human overpopulation myth" (the entire population could fit comfortably in the equatorial region with ZERO negative environmental impact - it's resource usage that's the problem, not population).
Charts are scary. Statistics are scary. Imagine an archetypal young female in her teens or 20s, full of incorrect advice/medical knowledge given by her parents and gynecologist over the last decade, loaded with student loan debt, working a full-time job or attending college, paying student loan debt off for the next 10 years. Say she heard about FAM/NFP from a friend, watched Megan Elizabeth's video on it, etc. Initial exposure. Now she's going to see this NYT chart in her Facebook news feed, get scared, and stick to hormonal BCP because despite the health risks, it seems "safe" to her. Being burdened, overscheduled, and underslept, it may be years before she thinks to do a little more research into FAM/NFP/Billings/etc, and finds out that they actually are statistically more effective and safer than hormonal methods. "Darn, too late, I have cervical cancer, massive weight gain, mood swings, and depression - all extremely common side effects of hormonal BC methods."
In other words, the mainstream media is REALLY good at what it does. In this case, oppressing women, destroying their health, and limiting their perceived options in terms of birth control.