By Gudrun Schultz

December 21, 2005 (LifeSiteNews.com) – Women are suing the makers of Depo-Provera birth control, saying it has caused them severe bone loss leading to osteoporosis.

A $700-million class-action lawsuit has been filed against the drug company Pfizer, an international pharmaceutical conglomerate that also produces the prescription drugs Viagra, Zoloft and Celebrex. Pfizer has come under fire in the past for alleged lethal side effects stemming from the use of the anti-depressant Zoloft, and the company currently faces a number of lawsuits in the U.S. over Celebrex, which is alleged to cause heart attacks in users.

The drug Depo-Provera acts as an abortifacient. Given by injections four times a year, the artificial hormone prevents a baby in the earliest stages of development from implanting on the wall of the uterus, leading to its death. The drug is effective in ending pregnancies more than 99% of the time, according to Pfizer’s website. Advertisers have acclaimed it as a “hassle and worry free” birth control method, saving women from daily pill popping.

Concerns that the drug also causes massive and partially irreversible bone loss in young women have led to three current lawsuits under way in Canada.

The drug has also been linked to increased susceptibility to STD’s in users, as much as three times higher than normal, according to one study.

Depo-Provera has been at the forefront of foreign-funded birth control programs in the developing world. Between 1994-2000, USAID sent over 40 million units of the drug to these programs, much of it going to Africa. Proponents of the medication have been accused of contributing to the spread of HIV in Africa by weakening women’s immune systems through use of the drug.

See LifeSiteNews coverage at:

‘Family Planning’ Groups Spreading AIDS in Africa with Depo Provera, New Study Warns
http://www.lifesite.net/ldn/2004/sep/04090803.html