Chile Under Fire After Birth Control Pills Result in Unwanted Pregnancies

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Nearly 175 women in Chile are preparing to file a class-action lawsuit after claiming to have gotten pregnant while taking the faulty Anulette CD as reported by CNN on April 6, 2021.

Anulette CD is an oral birth control pill manufactured by Silesia — a subsidiary of the German pharmaceutical company Grünenthal. The Chilean sexual and reproductive rights group Corporación Miles is representing the women in the lawsuit.

In 2020, more than 276,000 birth control pills from two defective batches were distributed by the Chilean government to various family planning centers. Months after the first pregnancy cases, in August 2020, the batches in question were taken off the market by health authorities in Chile.

Many women became pregnant, and many others failed to receive the warning, made only on Twitter. Many families in Chile do not have internet or television access. Relying only on social media to inform the women of the faulty birth control pills is an injustice to the women.

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“I was about to finish the second [of three boxes prescribed] when I found out about the problem,” Tabita Daza Rojas said. By then she was already six weeks pregnant. She found out from a Facebook post that her tablets were one of the recalled batches.

According to Laura Dragnic, legal coordinator at Corporación Miles, “It was after posting on Instagram when we started receiving emails from people saying that they were already pregnant because they were consuming Anulette. We expect that there are many more women with this problem, especially because the State has not claimed any responsibility.”

The women cannot legally terminate their pregnancies. In Chile, women are only allowed to terminate a pregnancy if the pregnancy is a result of rape, if the fetus is incompatible with life outside the womb, or if a woman’s life is at risk.

Miles and their partners are calling for the government to pay financial reparations to the affected women, and to provide access to safe and legal abortions for those who wish to terminate their pregnancy.

Written by Ebonee Stevenson
Edited by Sheena Robertson

Sources:

CNN: Chile’s government distributed faulty birth control pills. Now more than 150 people are pregnant.; by Kara Fox, Ana Schlimovich
The Rio Times: Chile distributes defective birth control pills and at least 170 women become pregnant; by Juan Martinez

Featured and Top Image Courtesy of Marie’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Sam Cancino’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License

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