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Should Nuns Be Offered the Pill to Reduce Cancer Risks? — Health Check

Thomas Niedermueller / Tim Matsui, Getty Images

If you were going to choose a segment of society least likely to need birth control pills, no one could fault you for putting nuns at the top of the list. Researchers, however, say the notoriously contraceptive-averse Catholic Church should make the pills available to those women to reduce their risk of cancer.

Evidence was cited showing women who haven’t had children are more likely to die from breast, ovarian and uterine cancers, and that the pill has been found to reduce those risks. In a December 8 report, researchers say that while the Church condemns all forms of contraception, there is no such edict against its use to cure diseases.

“If the Catholic church could make the contraceptive pill freely available to all its nuns, it would reduce the risk of those accursed pests, cancer of the ovary and uterus, and give nuns’ plight the recognition it deserves,” the researchers wrote.

But in a caveat, they added pills containing both estrogen and progestogen can increase the risk of blood clots, so as with all medications, a woman’s medical history should always be considered before they’re prescribed.


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