Last Friday, U.S. Congressman William Lacy Clay, Jr., (D-MO) held a Congressional briefing examining Pfizer and health providers targeting women of color to be primary consumers of the injectable carcinogenic contraceptive drug Depo-Provera by concealing FDA Black Box Warnings and minimizing life-threatening and debilitating side effects.
At the briefing, members of Congress and the Congressional Black Caucus examined a report released by the Rebecca Project which details severe health problems from Depo-Provera use, including strokes and cancer, and the failure of health providers like Planned Parenthood to disclose side effects before injecting patients with the shot.
The Rebecca Project report claims that the promotion of Depo-Provera for use in women of color and low income is driven by an ideological agenda based on profit and population control fueled by Pfizer, the Gates, Rockefeller and Ford Foundations, the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), the Population Council, Planned Parenthood, Columbia and Johns Hopkins Universities and "a cadre of extreme reproductive health advocates."
USAID has funded the distribution of the controversial drug in impoverished African women since before it was even approved by the FDA. In fact, an experimental trial between 1994 and 2006 had 9,000 poor women in Ghana injected with the drug without being informed that they were part of a reproductive health experiment.
Clinical trials with Depo-Provera led to the development of cancer in dogs and monkeys, which caused the FDA to reject the drug three times before approving it in 1992 after regulation changes required trials to use mice and rats instead.
The FDA issued a Black Box warning in 2004 stating: (1) women may lose significant bone mineral density that is not fully reversible and, therefore, (2) Depo Provera should not be used as a long-term birth control method for more than two years. Other serious side effects, with mandated Patient Counseling and Information are: (3) blood clots in arms, legs, lungs, and eyes, (4) stroke, (5) bleeding irregularities, (6) weight gain, (7) ectopic pregnancy, and (8) delayed return to fertility and lack of return to fertility. (9) In addition, scientific research in 2012 reported that women using Depo Provera have double the risk of developing breast cancer.