A Small Device Turned Into A Big Deal
“Whoops, looks like it’s broken”. No, this isn’t a downplay of having your IUD break inside of you. It’s the words we’ve had women tell us their doctors say when their Paragard IUD breaks.
Well you know what isn’t a small deal? The fact that this “small error” lead to negatively impacting the lives of SO.MANY.WOMEN. What makes matters worse is that its 2021 and women are still having issues finding safe birth control. Over 50 years since the existence of birth control and we are still having issues.
Can’t believe we’ve been fighting for this long? Neither can we, but here’s a small lookback at the history of birth control in the U.S. and the unbelievable hurdles we’ve had to jump through.
In the 1960s, the Food and Drug Administration approved the birth control pill – a scientific breakthrough that gave women control over their own bodies and the ability to partake fully in the world around them.
Naturally it was immediately criminalized.
Apparently giving women control over their own bodies made a lot of people (men) a tad bit nervous. (Lord knows what kind of immoral mischief their womenfolk might get into). So, in some states using birth control was punishable by fines and up to one year in prison – for women and their doctors.
Here’s where the story takes a positive turn:
Birth control pioneers Estelle Griswold (Executive Director of the Planned Parenthood League of Connecticut and Dr. C. Lee Buxton (Chair of the Department of Obstetrics at Yale) opened up a birth control clinic anyway. They were promptly arrested, prosecuted and found guilty. Here’s the positive part: Griswold said, “not so fast” and appealed her conviction before the Supreme Court in 1965 (Griswold v. Connecticut) and won.
It was around this time that Congress passed Title X of the Public Health Service Act, which granted federal fund coverage to family planning programs which included contraception and access to the pill at an affordable cost. Yay!
And from that day forward, safe and affordable birth control was made possible for all!
Nope, not even close. Here’s where the Paragard IUD comes in:
For decades, women have been implanted with an intrauterine device (IUD) called Paragard as a form of long-term birth control. Manufactured by Teva Pharmaceuticals, Paragard is marketed as a small, safe, flexible device and the only non-hormonal IUD available in the US.
Women and their doctors trusted that Teva Pharmaceuticals was being honest and forthright about its safety.
Then the reports of serious injuries and health complications came pouring in. To date, more than 3,000 women have reported the Paragard IUD broke in their bodies. And chances are, these reports are most likely just the tip of the iceberg since they represent only those who took the time to file a report.
“When I realized one of the Ts had broken off, I just kind of started to freak out. I was panicked. It was devastating, actually.”– PARAGARD PLAINTIFF
Women reported that upon removal, the Paragard IUD device broke inside the uterus sometimes requiring invasive surgery to remove the broken pieces which can perforate the uterus wall. These perforations can lead to all sorts of complications such as scarring, infections, or damage to other nearby organs and may require Invasive surgery to correct. It can even cost a woman her ability to have a child.
Though Paragard came with a long list of warnings when it was approved by the FDA, patients found the actual packaging did not list them all. If these women had been warned about the serious problems that could arise due to Paragard, it is likely they would have opted for a different birth control and avoided the painful and life-threatening complications from the Paragard device.
“Paragard warnings were vague, incomplete or otherwise wholly inadequate to alert prescribing physicians and patients to the actual risks associated with Paragard IUD.”– PARAGARD PLAINTIFF
So is there ANY good news?
Yes there is, because we aren’t going to let Teva Pharmaceuticals get away with it. Many women are suing for financial compensation to cover their medical expenses, lost wages and pain and suffering from their injuries. Claimants allege Paragard is defective and manufactures failed to adequately warn about the risk of device breakage and injury.
It’s time we truly let our voices be heard and say, “enough is enough”. We want and deserve safe birth control options. Hey Big Pharma, you’re done messing with us. We’re onto you, and we want justice.
A Case for Women believes in the power of women’s stories, their voices and their families. If you or a loved one have suffered an injury from the Paragard IUD device, please contact us today. Lawsuits can create powerful change and have life-changing financial compensation.