Nor shortage of reasons for oral contraceptives

Rush Limbaugh is an attention-hogging, obnoxious and ignorant loud mouth ("Rush to judgment on birth control," March 7). His crudeness sicken me. The controversies about oral contraceptives are passe. Yes, insurance companies have to make them available to women in this country, and all employers should include them as part of the health care package they provide.

This is not a matter of government paying for free sex. Those who use contraception practice responsible sex. They take care not to produce children they cannot afford to have. Don't conservatives rail against "welfare queens" who have too many children and fall on the mercy of the state for subsidies and help? Abstinence is fine and dandy, but why preach that only to the poor? The middle class, in an era of declining jobs, difficult health care decisions and rising expenses cannot afford too many children either. Neither can pauperized governments nor can the environment, degraded and depleted, afford a tsunami of new births.

But most importantly, there are numerous legitimate medical and surgical indications for birth control pills and hormones. Oral contraceptives are used in dysfunctional uterine bleeding, in polycystic ovarian disease, unremitting dysmenorrhea or painful periods, in female hirsutism, in women who have had premature menopause due to autoimmune ovarian failure, in women who have had ovarian failure after their pituitary or hypothalamic tumors have been radiated or removed, in women who have lost both their ovaries to infections, tumors or cysts, in women with endometriosis, in Turner's Syndrome (to prevent osteoporosis and to induce breast development and menstrual cycles).

Then there are those women who have lost ovarian function after chemotherapy and radiation for various cancers, mentally challenged girls in whom parents want to prevent disastrous and inadvertent pregnancies, female adrenogenital syndromes where deficiencies in various adrenal enzymes cause hirsutism and irregular periods. Also, there are women with bulimia and anorexia nervosa where the risk of osteoporosis and loss of periods is high due to poor nourishment, young girls withCrohn's Disease and other conditions that can also cause them to become malnourished and suffer ovarian malfunction.

How about during perimenopause in women who have symptoms of hormone deprivation, or premature osteoporosis and bone fragility, or to help out of control diabetics in whom an unplanned pregnancy can result in fetal wastage and maternal complications? And there are so many other conditions where an unplanned pregnancy can endanger the life of the mother and the child.

Rush Limbaugh is an embarrassment to conservatives, and he has repeatedly misused his bully pulpit. But the conservatives have not repudiated him categorically and keep on providing him with platforms where he can spew his bombast, bile and lame excuses for his flammable declarations. Hopefully, the ditto-heads will put their thinking caps on and divest him of the power they confer on him.

Usha Nellore, Bel Air

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