Treehugger priorities: free sex over saving the world

So many women are taking birth control pills that they’re screwing up the environment. This isn’t a new story, at least for me. I heard this years ago, but it’s making news again. A report in Scientific American says that estrogen from birth control pills is flooding our water systems. American women take 12 million doses of birth control pills containing estrogen every day and eventually it passes through their systems into the water supply.

The April 17 Scientific American reported results of a study warning that “many streams, rivers and lakes already bear warning signs that the fish caught within them may also be carrying enough chemicals that mimic the female hormone estrogen to cause breast cancer cells to grow.”

“Fish are really a sentinel, just like canaries in the coal mine 100 years ago,” says Conrad Volz, co-director of exposure assessment at the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute’s Center for Environmental Ecology. “We need to pay attention to chemicals that are estrogenic in nature, because they find their way back into the water we all use.”

Apparently it’s a problem because the sewage treatment system doesn’t break down estrogen, which also happens to be found in hormone replacement therapy as well.

Imagine if this were not birth control, but some byproduct of fast food or gasoline-powered cars. Groups like PETA and Greenpeace and all the rest of the treehuggers would be demanding action, protesting, holding die-ins, throwing fake (and real) blood on corporate executives, and all the rest of the histrionics.

Cut down a redwood tree and dope-smoking, dreadlocked, unwashed hippies will camp on your doorstep. If there’s even a hint that rabbits or monkeys in labs are exposed not to danger but lack of comfort, they’ll burn our house down. But aquatic ecosystems are being flooded with an artificial chemical threatening some species with extinction due to the die-off of breeding males and you hear not a peep.

Because no one better mess with our right to have sex without consequences. Of course, we know that the no-consequences promise is a lie, don’t we?

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Domenico Bettinelli, Jr., is a father of five and husband, a Roman Catholic, born in Boston, educated at Franciscan University of Steubenville, who has worked in Catholic media--print, broadcast, and online--since the mid-90s. Find out all about Dom on his About Me page. He is also the CEO of the StarQuest Production Network at sqpn.com. All opinions on this site are solely those of Domenico Bettinelli and do not reflect the opinions of anyone else. See the disclaimer for further details.