Erin Brockovich Spearheads Fight Against Controversial Birth Control Procedure
Erin Brockovich, the consumer advocate best known for her work on the 1993 case against Pacific Gas and Electric Co. that inspired the film starring Julia Roberts, has now taken up the cause of getting the Essure birth control procedure off the market.
Essure, which was approved by the Food and Drug Administration in 2002, has been touted as a less expensive and less invasive permanent birth control measure for woman than tubal litigation. It requires a singular outpatient procedure that involves a coil getting inserted into the fallopian tubes and through to the uterus. Whatever benefits Essure might provide, Brockovich is convinced that the side effects make it more dangerous that it’s worth.
"There's something wrong with the device, in my opinion," Brockovich told ABC News. "It's a form of permanent birth control, and women's organs are being perforated … It's ridiculous that at any level we try to defend this. If 30 women did suffer harm for unknown reason, we'd investigate. We have thousands injured. I don't think it's safe."
Brockovich is hoping to get pharmaceutical company Bayer, who paid $1 billion dollars to acquire Essure’s manufacturer Conceptus, to take Essure off the market. She’s aiming to launch a full investigation into the claims made by those who’ve undergone the procedure.
"[Bayer] should care about the health and welfare of all people," she said. "Especially women and children in this country. If this many are reporting injuries, take it off the market. It's not working. These women were misled. They feel they were scammed."
Of the 700,000 that have undergone the procedure, at least 800 women have filed reports with the FDA since 2004, according to the health agency. In addition to Brockovich’s campaign and online petition, a number of other sites have cropped up for women to share their painful and damaging experiences as a result of choosing Essure.
– Chelsea Regan