A Bill inspired by the controversial Essure contraceptive has finally made it to the House of Representatives’ Energy and Commerce Committee. The Bill, called Ariel Grace’s Law, aims to hold manufacturers responsible for any defective devices they produce.
Essure is a permanent form of birth control that is non-surgically implanted into the cervix. The contraception device is inserted into the fallopian tubes, inducing inflammation that causes benign ingrowth. Once in place, the growth continues over three months, which results in a blockage of the fallopian tubes preventing sperm from reaching the eggs.
Many women who had the device implanted suffered severe side effects, including headaches, vomiting, nausea, organ perforation, internal bleeding, allergic reactions, and unexpected pregnancy, among others. For many women who suffered complications, a complete hysterectomy was the only way to get relief.
After receiving over 5,000 reports of adverse events, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reviewed Essure and added a black box warning to the device in February of this year. Many patients found this FDA action insufficient. Women harmed by the device are calling for Essure’s removal from the market via a medical device recall.
Members of the House were confronted with the dangerous side effects of Essure when they heard testimony from women who claim the implant caused them physical and emotional pain.
“The women of Essure problems have beseeched the FDA, our doctors, anyone to help us. And in desperation we finally turned to congressional representatives,” said Tess Schulman, who has had suffered ailments she claims are from Essure.
Supporters of the Bill hope victim testimony will move Congress to pass the Bill, but it will take some time before progress is made regarding the Bill’s approval. Despite delays, women harmed by Essure will continue to fuel the fire.