NH’s Rep. Notter Claims Birth Control Causes Prostate Cancer

Today Rep. Jeanine Notter (R-Merrimack), who sits on the State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs Committee, caught our attention once again with another of her “Notter Notions”.  During a hearing on late-entry House Resolution 29, urging the United States Department of Health and Human Services to rescind its rule requiring health plans to cover preventative services for women such as contraceptives, she told committee members that health plans shouldn’t cover birth control because it causes prostate cancer.

Unbelievable?  See it here for yourself:

According to the Mayo Clinic,  prostate cancer is cancer that occurs in a man’s prostate.

This isn’t the first time Rep. Notter’s notions have generated public attention; last February she told cancer patients that they didn’t need the new health law because they could host community fundraisers to cover health care costs instead.

But first — click here to help NARAL Pro-Choice help these attacks on women and birth control.

This wasn’t the only bizarre statement made by a NH Representative at the hearing.  Rep. Lynne Blankenbeker also weighed in on this issue.

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  • NHFlatlander

    published last year in the British Medical Journal Open that found that there was a higher incidence of prostate cancer in countries with the highest number of women taking birth control pills.The reason is unclear.  In an interview

    with ABC  

    It’s unclear what exactly could tie the pill to prostate cancer, but researcher said estrogen hormones released in urine that recycle through the water supply could account for one possible explanation.

    “There’s reason to suggest there’s an environmental component [to prostate cancer] and not solely genetic,” said Dr. Neil Fleshner, head of urology at the University Health Network in Ontario and co-author of the study.

    My favorite quote in the article is:

    “This is just a hypothesis generating idea,” said Fleshner. “Women should not be throwing away the pill because of this.”

    • Rep. Jim Splaine

      I know you’re not endorsing the “study,” and one can derive any of a number of conclusions from any study.  

      I’m sure there has been a study that death results in less old age in human beings, and that living to 100 can cause men and women to have wrinkles.  

      And I know for sure that I can produce an accurate study that having more Tea Partiers and Republican right-wingers in a legislature results is crazier laws.  

  • Kathy Sullivan 2

    Notter argued that vaccines are not necessary because the Black Death died out without a vaccine – failing to understand that was after the death of millions of people over about a century and a half.  

  • William Tucker

    As NHFlatlander notes, Notter was likely referring to the ecological study by David Margel and Neil Fleshner published in British Medical Journal Open.

    It didn’t stand up to scrutiny. When well known prostate cancer risk-modifying factors (diet and cholesterol) were included in a similar analysis, oral contraceptive use was no longer statistically significant.

    So maybe Notter’s comment wasn’t quite as wacky as her saying the black plague “declined naturally,” but it’s still wrong.

    • NHFlatlander

      for digging a bit further into it.  Statements like Rep. Notter’s need to be countered with facts otherwise they become part of modern mythology.  

  • Tim C.

    You’re supposed to be the one taking the pills, not your husband.

    And, uh, they’re supposed to be taken orally.

  • Lucy Edwards

    appears to have made the big time with this, or the blogosphere has gotten more used to looking at NH for their entertainment.  She’s popping up on most of the national blogs I read.

    I remember last year sending e-mails to Josh Marshall of TPM, Steve Benen of Political Animal (now with Rachel Maddow), John Cole of Balloon Juice, begging them to take a look at NH.  Now we’re famous…or is that infamous.  

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