Video Highlights Abuse Some Women Face When Accessing Birth Control

This video parodies what it would be like for men attempting to buy condoms if they were treated the same way as women are when attempting to access birth control pills.  The World Health Organization (WHO), American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG), and other health leaders have declared that a pelvic exam/pap test is not medically necessary for birth control pills.  However, some doctors are continuing to withhold birth control pills until women succumb to these invasive exams.


Thanks Si for linking this on


  1. You know, it’s strange to me that this comes from Buzzfeed. I don’t remember a lot of their stuff that I thought was any kind of useful.

    It would be real interesting if they portrayed a woman in a major movie that didn’t go along with that & the man agreed with her- maybe getting into some detail & making observations about the situation as a concept.

    I really think that it would never come
    up in school, they seem to be more interested in working against someone’s personal autonomy in all matters.

  2. While this video is fun to watch there is a darker side to the story.

    I remember a ‘pill check’ as if it were yesterday.

    I had gone to Dr V to renew my script. I think i had been on the pill about a year when he sprung a smear test on me. I didn’t agree to one. The whole thing was framed as if i didn’t have a choice. That it was a given i would be having the test. He didn’t tell me anything really. Certainly no mention of false of neg positives or that i had a choice to decline. I think i gave in because it was implied he wouldn’t renew my script. He offered condoms as an alternative. I was only 22 and wanted to please my husband as we hadn’t been married long. So looking back the threat was hanging in the air if i didn’t submit.

    My smear test took about half an hour with him coming and going with the speculum stuck in me. He even went over to his desk to write something. Even taking the thing out was not rushed. I remember when i had my secong with the nurse thinking how quickly it was done.

    I can never prove this doctor had a great time i just know it inside. He is retired now.

    Its time the pill was freely available over the counter. More than time.

  3. I used to live in the Middle East where the pill is freely available over the counter. It was like a god send and I could avoid the doctor’s office. When we moved back to the UK, my Partner ended up getting a vasectomy so I could get off the treadmill of propaganda and harassment that is “women’s healthcare.”

    It is ABSOLUTELY time the pill was available over the counter.

    You could kill yourself overdosing on NSAID’s for example but they are freely available – buy as many as you want. Want something specific for women – you need to be treated like a silly little girl and humiliated.

  4. He gets off way too easily. A breast exam through a surgical gown? She should have whipped it off forcefully just like they do, and had a good grope.

  5. Ha I got a good kick outta that one! The video is obviously satirical but that was actually a very smart way to portray this issue…afterall no one from my generation or younger pays attention to anything unless it’s on social media. For those of us seeking a more thoughtful/intelligent briefing I thought this article did a good job A little older maybe but still had some solid points and the comments were interesting.

  6. You know, I notice that there’s not nearly as much mention of this as there is of legal weed. Maybe that’s something to attach to? Maybe the younger women could be mentioning it when there’s a “Do you think that weed should be legalized?” survey? Seems like it would be pretty easy to do in a college town, maybe during some event.

    Another idea is that someone can do one of these types of surveys with the birth control pill & put it on Youtube. Maybe I hate to say it this way, but GET HOT WOMEN TO DO IT! Not necessarily models/strippers/etc, but not necessarily not those, either (I’m sure you could pay them to do the survey, it’s just a question of figuring out how to go about hiring them). It’s not that they’re more important, it’s just that it works better to net support most of the time & it’s not nearly as prone to jokes or disregard, since it’s more plausible for a lot of people that she might have this as a potential problem (as opposed to one that’s very obese/scrawny).

    I’m really not trying to be cruel & I know it’s just as accurate of a point (even if a dude makes it), but that sort of tactic nets support- from both men & women. I remember seeing a meme with a very big woman (easily 300lbs) that was wearing a tiara & the caption was “Who’s going to pay for my birth control?” You see how that could be reacted to, right?

  7. So has anyone tried the “legalize it” angle yet? I’m fairly confident it would work well if done well. College campuses, good-looking women & strog-looking men (maybe they have soldiers in their family that feel like helping out- if so, that would add to the impact considerably), and arguing back when someone disputes that basically what happens is not what occurs.

    I still have a hard time wrapping my head around that. I mean, seriously? The properties of a situation disappear in a medical setting? So how the hell can anyone die in surgery? How can they wind up in debt from medical expenses? Wouldn’t complications & expense magically evaporate?

  8. So I’ve never been able to say this anywhere except here but the whole concept of “awareness” irritates the everliving f*ck outta me! We are ALL “aware” of what breast cancer is, we are all “aware” of what cervical cancer is and lung cancer and diabetes and the plethora of diseases that one may be unfortunate enough to butt heads with. I HATE it soooo much when people say ‘Oh, were just spreading awareness of ___” or “we just want everyone to be aware of this horrible disease and how they can prevent it” and “are you aware of ___ and ___ procedure to prevent it? Go get screened!” Oh I could just scream!

    And it’s even worse if you’re a young person too. I look much younger than I am (28 but everyone thinks 21-22) and they always got after the ones that they think are ignorant and impressionable. Heaven forbid someone who is younger educate themselves and make their own decisions based on sound evidence and their own individual circumstances instead of just going along with it. I am very well aware of this disease and how to take care of myself. I am very well aware of my “screening options” and that it is my choice to screen or not. I certainly don’t need anyone to make me “aware” AKA tell me what to do!

    As a non-smoking, immune-efficient woman in a monogamous relationship with another virgin (we got married in February!) a pap test has absolutely nothing to offer me. Since it doesn’t screen for uterine/ovarian/bladder cancer or even the non-hpv CC that starts in the deeper tissues then what good does it do for someone like me? Considering my circumstances, I’m more likely to be harmed by a false positive or I could even get HPV or some other STI/STD from unclean equipment. They say “better safe than sorry” but in my case I’m more safe by not getting screened! How’s that for some f*cking awareness!! Sorry for the rant, I’m just so incredibly frustrated with the whole thing. Glad that at least you ladies (and Alex) will understand even if the rest of the world doesn’t.

    • Well said Emily! I too fed up with all those awareness weeks, scare campaigns, and idiotic do-gooder initiatives. I reached the point when I absolutely refuse to watch, buy or use anything that has any connection to any cancer “awareness” or carries any go-screen message.
      The latest disappointment was the Australian TV program Gruen, which I liked and followed for years. I thought the hosts were funny, highly intelligent people who did a good research before opening their mouth. Sadly, I was wrong. In the most recent episode they out of a sudden jumped on a pro-screening bandwagon, touting cancer scare campaigns and celebrity endorsement of cancer screening tests. The co-host Todd Sampson went as far as proposing to use health insurance (which many Australians are financially forced to pay by the tax department) for coercing people into cancer screening! I was so disgusted; not sure I’ll ever watch this program again, or any other show Todd does.
      Are those celebrities really so stupid to comprehend that screening has a potential for serious harm, and therefore to screen or not to screen should be a personal decision based on unbiased facts and individual circumstances, not on an urge pushed by a mercantile celebrity.

      • And that is what I live in terror of every day of my life, that I am going to be forced to submit to ANY medical exam, much less invasive cancer screening, against my will. Even an “innocent” topical physical is unacceptable to force on people for no better reason than you want to force it on them and you believe you know better than they do whether they would benefit from medical attention much less what kind is right for me. If I know the risks, don’t have something like Ebola or black plague, and still choose to go about on a broken ankle or leave a worsening condition alone until I die from it, guess what? THAT IS MY DECISION TO MAKE! As long as I’m informed, no one else should get a say.

        Even if all their rhetoric was accurate–and it’s not–I still should have the right to refuse for any reason including the desire to preserve indignity and avoid humiliation. Because that metric is mine to make, and if I’d rather live a shorter life with dignity rather than a longer life with my legs in stirrups, then it’s worth it…to me. And my opinion is the only one that matters when it comes to my body and my life. It amazes me that they talk about forcing women into this crap and have the audacity to pretend THEY’RE the feminists in the argument! Because that’s what feminists do, they work to restrict women’ s choices and control their bodies. Sure.

        And withholding vital necessities from your victims (bc, healthcare, employment–as I hear they do in some countries to my everlasting horror) unless they comply does not make it a “free choice”. It is still coercion and it is still rape!

      • Demonhype – Modern feminists are their own worst enemies these days. They claim to be all over female “empowerment” yet they say and do the most baffling things which traditionally goes against feminism. It is completely bewildering and in some ways, it is also dangerous.

        I’m amazed that there is no female celebrity – not a single one – who comes out and says something along the lines of, “I believe in evidence-based decisions when it comes to my healthcare”. So many of them front these ridiculous screening awareness campaigns (like smearing their faces in lipstick and sticking it all over instagram), take photos of themselves attending screening etc. We never hear of any celebrities declining to promote these campaigns and their reasons for doing so.
        But surely there must be those that don’t subscribe to screening for the reasons that they do not want their bodily integrity violated and they don’t rate the evidence on the “benefits” of screening.

    • Totally agree with Fleur and Emily: sooo fed up with all this “awareness” bullshit!
      As to the Gruen’s Todd Sampson and Russel Howcroft, they repelled me too. I don’t think I’ll ever regain ineterst in whatever they have to say after that revolting cancer campaign of theirs and discussion on how to coerce people into unwanted screening.

      That said, there are two simple reasons for the screening campaigners who won’t stop even when told to f#ck off:
      1. They have higher than average risk for a particular cancer (family history of the desease, smoking, toxic environment, etc), so they are scared of that cancer and don’t want to live in their fear alone. Misery loves company, as we all know. Todd and Russel both said they have close family members with bowel cancer, so they want to convince other people to screen and do colonoscopies, as no many smart and sane people want to have their guts stripped by chemicals and then be penetrated by a two meter long garden hose from behind.

      2. They live such miserable, boring, insignificant and pathetic lives, that campaigning for something that appears to be “good” simply adds at least some purpose to their otherwise useless and pointless existence. Urging, pushing and scaring others into screening is the only possible power trip for these people. Making someone else feel scared, insecure and miserable alleviates these feelings in the instigator.

      Likewise, I never purchase anything that has any awareness ribbon or message. It is a waste of money. So many other areas of Australian health care are in desperate need for funding, yet insted the public is feeding the campaigning parasites!

  9. So very well said Emily….I’m screaming with you LOL! Feelings are very much the same.
    I come across so many people and its almost as if they want something to be wrong with them, they go looking for it…perhaps it makes them feel special…..I just don’t know anymore?
    When I get ill or have pain I always give my body the time to heal itself and make certain adjustments in life…and what do you know… fixes itself. Thankfully I never feel the need to visit the GP anymore but since the last time I was very firm about cancer screening being a big fat NO! I stood up and raised my voice as I was so sick of it all, he got the message loud and clear after I mentioned targets/payments/dishonest info etc. None of which he denied. GP is soon to retire so guessing I’ll get it all over again, but because of this fantastic site and all you wonderful people and the knowledge I have gained, I am so fully armed with the truth, and I feel great about it. I’m almost looking forward to the showdown so I can put them in their place. My 25 year old niece has had her 3 invites/summons and has decided not to screen for cc and my sister so far is not going along to her mammogram….hopefully she will refuse cc screening too on her next 5 yearly invite, baring in mind she has been through the abnormal result and colposcopy visit, with a result of “nothing found”, no surprise there seeing as she is in the menopause like myself.
    Anyway I just wanted to thank you all/FWEO again for the brilliant insight/links/info provided over the years, simply fantastic.
    Have a read of this, a spit test to detect Prostate Cancer for goodness sake, and where is the female spit test for cancer screening, not forthcoming is it.
    “so researchers hope it could prevent unnecessary procedures”

  10. Regarding the spit test for prostate cancer, but of course men have to have their precious body parts protected from unnecessary procedures! Heaven forbid one of them goes through an unnecessary surgery and is injured in his privates! We women are unworthy of the same consideration and our body parts are expendable (insert sarcasm). When are women going to wake up and smell the coffee about the deep seated contempt the medical field has for us and our bodies????????

  11. Men have traditionally kept their distance from the docs. They are notoriously difficult to engage with, just like us hard-core “dissenters”. And in the end, that approach pays dividends as the healthcare profession go out of their way to accommodate them, as opposed to what is happening to us.
    This nonsense will only stop when women do as men do and put their foot down and say enough is enough! It’s happening slowly in the UK as the screening authorities are beginning to see that younger women will just not listen to the scare tactics any longer, hence why they might be finally considering self-HPV testing in some areas.

    • In Boston’s South Station, a major transit hub, there are numerous floor to ceiling ads for an erectile dysfunction drug, no doubt placed there by a big pharmaceutical company. What stands out to me is that each ad emphasizes that no doctors visit is necessary for a man to obtain this drug, just an on-line consultation. I think this illustrates how the medical profession goes out of their way to accomodate men, while for women paternalistic attitudes are still alive and well.

  12. In general, comments on the video seem aware that there’s no reason to examine a patient in order to safely prescribe the pill. I do see a few however that are spouting out the mind numbing party line of “exams help the doctor to know which pill to use.” How? The only thing I can figure is that these particular women aren’t following their thoughts through. Why don’t they pause to ask themselves what information an exam could produce that would influence the choice of pill? Maybe I should stop trying to understand but I can’t. I need to know.

    • Rose2 – this seems to go with the notion that a “complete physical exam” of a woman is to take her temperature, blood pressure, pulse rate, and perform a pelvic exam. From the pelvic exam, the doctor can “look inside” and see everything that’s wrong with her! From that, the doctor can know which heart medicines to prescribe, diagnose diabetes and know the correct medication to treat it, and even diagnose sleep apnea!

      Men cannot be diagnosed this way. It is for that reason that they are given things like EKGs if they have heart issues, MRIs for assorted issues with bones and other organs, and so on. It is also why we keep hearing of women thrown out of the hospital ER mid-heart attack because “they can find nothing wrong with her”, whereas a man showing similar symptoms gets put in the CCU and sometimes heart surgery.

      • The looking inside notion is insightful and one that I haven’t thought about before. Yes it seems that they view the reproductive system and particularly the vagina and cervix as the gateway to the woman herself. It is sad. We are so much more than this.

  13. Rose2 – Like a curious child or curious cat, “looking inside” is the way someone or something “figures out” how “it” works”. Men too, do this – from looking under the hood of a car to looking inside a woman through her “openings”.

    Compounded by women feeling that our vagina and cervix and rectum are really “us” – we don’t let “just anybody” touch those things, and when it’s done without our permission/against our consent, it is a very serious crime. Moreover, men feel that way about “their” women – many men have “gone vigilante” when his wife, gf, mother, or daughter is raped… and some do it when it happens without HIS permission – irregardless of hers.

    For that reason, rape has been used as a tool for humiliating women and as a weapon of war for millennia.

    A combination of human women being “faithful” to their mate, at least for a couple of years, was a way to ensure her and her baby’s survival in prehistoric days. The conjunction of pelvic, vagus, and a few other nerves that make one “feel” emotions is part of that. Have you ever had a “gut feel” about something?

    I went to the National Cancer Institute,, to look at the list of cancers that effect women. I looked at a list of older white women. Cervical Cancer is the 22nd most common cancer! Other cancers of the reproductive system – uterine, ovarian, vaginal, and vulvular, are more common. The #1 cancer for women is the same as for men – lung cancer. Women are given an outsized emphasis on CC, and very little attention paid to even symptoms of other cancers. If I refuse a pap, I’m given a lecture and badgered about it. Look: If I went to a doctor hysterical about renal cancer (it kills slightly more women each year in the US), without having symptoms or a family history of renal cancer, the doctor would recommend against testing for it, and might send me to a mental health professional to try to uncover the cause of this outsized hysteria.

    There is something just not right about this whole practice.

  14. Happy New Year!
    Hoping more women get to the evidence in 2020 and perhaps, for the first time, decide for themselves whether screening is worthwhile for them.
    As more doctors get push back, the more likely consent and informed consent will be respected, if for no other reason than it’s risky to impose screening on an informed woman.
    Increasingly, women are being treated differently, the informed and those unaware of the evidence, who trust the medical profession or who still believe screening is a must…
    Hope many more women fall into the informed category this year.

  15. Hi all,
    Terrific site by the way, before covid restrictions hit us I’d gone shopping down the local market at the end of the market stalls a booth had been set up, and two young women were carrying out a survey into how to increase cancer screening and asked if I would be interested in contributing ( big mistake) I smiled and said I would love to ,they gave me a piece of paper and pencil to write down my ideas and thoughts on the subject .
    The first line asked for my first name and then my postcode after that my contribution!
    I wrote that I thought the exam itself was abhorrent, outdated,painful, disgusting,humiliating,violating, degrading and downright unpleasant as well as being embarrassing ,and too inaccurate for its purpose, and would rather be subjected to cattle branding on the ass as I would find this less of a discomfort. I then folded my contribution and posted it into their little collection box, they then thanked me ,and wished me a nice day , i in turn thanked them and went about my day with a big smile.

  16. Hi all,
    I have had many occasions for being angry at the medical community, this is not just limited to doctors and nurses, but to the staff employed by them such as their receptionists. This has led to having no medical attention for the past six years in 2014 i. slipped on ice and fell hard breaking my wrist, a friend called an ambulance and I was taken to hospital a doctor who looked about twelve sent me to x-ray after waiting for an hour he called me into his room and said I was lucky it was a clean break and should knit togeather nicely , a plaster cast was put on and I was sent away. Fast forward 1year later, wrist still hurting some days more than others, against my better judgement I booked an appointment at the local surgery and duly turned up at the given appointment, I went up to the reception to confirm my appointment, the receptionist said they were a little behind but I will be seen shortly, i thanked her and turned to take a seat in the waiting room as I walked she called after me and said I see from your files you are not up to date with your screening (quite loudly all eyes in the waiting room on me )shall I see if the doctor can fit you in at this appointment and kill two birds with one stone ,I returned to the reception desk and said to her congratulations she looked at me puzzled and said for what , I said on getting her medical degree , she said she hadn’t got a medical degree and she was only in charge of the reception I said in that case stop reccomending a medical test if she wasn’t qualified to do so ,and a patient visiting the surgery had a right to confidentiality and not for it to be broadcast all through the waiting room in front of strangers, and that it lacked professionalism on her part , the doctor gave me some pain killers and told me to come back in two weeks if it still hurt , ( never bothered) and now I’m making concerted effort never to go again for anything . I wish them all eternal damnatiion

  17. Thanks vegan4animals,
    It wasn’t always like that , I was brought up by my mom who taught me to be respectful of others and to do as I was told by adults , teachers the police in fact anybody with authority, this installed behaviour pattern from an early age was probably my downfall as this led to the complient , subservient person I became, and such an easy target for those in a position to abuse that trust , I don’t blame mom in anyway but it probably would of been better to build up self esteem and more independence as well, two separate colposcopy visits and numerous invasive exams by the white coat brigade ( never the same person twice) I woke up one morning and looked in the bathroom mirror I saw a person in need, and swore to her she will never be harmed again, and since that morning I have kept my promise. I have honed my sarcasm abilities to a fine edge, this and my hatred for the so called medical profession go hand in hand and when I cross paths with these people I am usually the victor, all because of the promise I made to myself that morning . Vengeance is mine said the lord.(but not if I get there first).

    • Angry you raise such an important issue – women are generally raised to be nice and collaborative and these traits were emphasized more than self-esteem and assertiveness in many of our upbringings. I have long believed the medical profession is well aware of this and counts on women’s tendency to be people pleasers to get them into the stirrups and into the operating room. I’m pleased you had your a-ha moment looking in the mirror and that you love yourself enough not to ever be in a position to be harmed in a healthcare setting again. By sharing your story you have undoubtedly helped other women find their own inner strength and self-love and have their own ah-ha moment.

  18. Thank you Judy , for your kind words and I do hope that my story helps someone, somewhere. It’s too late for myself and many others but sites like this one could save countless numbers of potential victims. May you and the other women on here be blessed.

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