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UPDATE: Rep Claims Pill Linked to Prostate Cancer

Rep. Jeanine Notter uses study to argue why insurance companies shouldn't be forced to cover birth control.

UPDATE: State Rep. Jeanine Notter said her question of State Rep. Andrew Manuse during a house hearing on Thursday was directed to him because she believed he shares similar views as her when it comes to putting chemicals in their bodies.

Notter asked Manuse if he was interested to know birth control pills may have recently been linked to prostate cancer.

Notter, a Republican representative from Merrimack, broached the question during a public hearing on House Resolution 29, which urges the United States Department of Health and Human Services to rescind a ruling requiring Catholic organizations provide insurance coverage for birth control.

Notter said she read about the study in Dr. David Brownstein's Natural Way to Health Newsletter and because she thought Manuse, a Republican from Derry, agrees with her that we put too many chemicals in our bodies, she thought he might be interested in that study.

Manuse, having never read the study, asks Notter in a video shared on YouTube by the advocacy group Granite State Progress, “In the children that are born from these women?”

Notter did not clarify that the study says it's possible men are ingesting doses of the hormone estrogen through environmental contamination.

An author of the study, Dr. Neil Fleshner, head of urology at the University Health Network in Ontario, told ABC News in November, “This is just a hypothesis generating idea. Women should not be throwing away the pill because of this.”

Notter said in a phone interview Thursday evening that it may just be a hypothesis, but so many things the public is told may just be hypotheses.

Scientists say one thing and a few months down the road they say the opposite, Notter said. "They're always learning new things."

"What I don't understand is why are these people so adamant about that information not getting out," Notter said. "It's good to be educated on both sides of a topic."

"My understanding was that Jeanine had a study that was suggesting that the male children of women who take birth control pills are more likely to develop prostate cancer," Manuse said in a voicemail Thursday evening. "I haven't seen the study, I'm not really interested in seeing the study, just because it's irrevelvant to the point that women should not be forced to take birth control or that the Catholic Church should not be forced to provide birth control to their employees because the catholic church objects to that kind of treatment."

In a phone interview late Thursday night, Manuse had had the time to look at the study and learned that it was actually about a link to environmental contamination, not passing it on from pregnancy.

Manuse said "It seems there could be some truth to it, maybe, maybe not ... A lot of religious beliefs and tenents are later found to be scientifically valid and this might be another case of that.”

But Manuse said it was beyond the point of the hearing, which was to argue to point that their point federal government should not be mandating Catholic organizations provide birth control.

Notter agreed with Manuse's position on the mandate.

"If people want to use birth control, that's fine, I don't care," Notter said. "If they don't want to hear the facts about it, that's fine, but they shouldn't make me pay for something I don't believe in."

Notter said she has avoided the pill because of something she'd read years ago linking it to breast cancer. She said it's her understanding that the chemicals in the pill interrupt the body's processes and creates spaces in breast tissue that can harbor cancer cells. Abortion during a pregnancy can act the same way, Notter said.

There are only studies, but no concrete proof linking birth control or abortions to breast cancer.

Notter is a sponsor of HB 1659 regarding a woman's right to know about the risks associated with abortion. Notter said the bill includes text about the alleged increased risk of breast cancer with abortion, but she said Rep. Joseph Hagan recommended that text be pulled since that isn't a proven fact.

Notter said an amendment is being worked on.

Original story: State Rep. Jeanine Notter, R-Merrimack, told a House committee earlier today that health insurance companies should not be required to cover birth control because the pill has recently been linked to prostate cancer.

Notter sits on the State-Federal Relations and Veterans Affairs Committee, which held a public hearing today on House Resolution 29, “urging the United States Department of Health and Human Services to rescind its rule requiring health plans to cover preventative services for women such as contraceptives.”

Notter's comments were caught on videotape and posted on YouTube by the advocacy group Granite State Progress.

“As a man, would it interest you to know that Dr. Brownstein just published an article that links the pill to prostate cancer?” Notter asked Rep. Andrew Manuse, R-Derry, who was testifying at the hearing.

“In the children that are born from these women?” Manuse asked.

Notter then offered to lend Manuse a copy of the study before telling him that she is against putting chemicals in her body and trying to explain her claim. The end of her explanation was that women take the pill and the chemical is in their body, but the end of her sentence about how it affects men is mostly unintelligible from the video.

According to the Mayo Clinic, prostate cancer is a form a cancer that develops in the prostate gland, which is a part of the male reproductive system.

Neither Notter nor Manuse could be reached immediately for comment Thursday afternoon.

A web search for the study Notter referenced in her statement turned up nothing by a Dr. Bernstein, but in November, ABC News ran a story about a study published in the British Medical Journal Open citing a possible connection between the drug and prostate cancer.

Alison Cohen February 17, 2012 at 03:02 PM
Reps. Notter and Manuse are at far greater risk of developing breast or prostate cancer as a result of ingesting milk and meat from animals that are fed a steady diet of hormones and from vegetables and fruits grown in fields using manure from those dairy and meat animals. Would they like to require that foodstuffs sold in the state must be organically grown and raised? Just sayin.....
Jan Schmidt February 17, 2012 at 03:45 PM
Hormones are in your meat supply, its how they bring it to your table cheaply and quickly. This has a direct effect on the human body, not filtered through a water supply. Does she eat meat?
Shawn Y February 17, 2012 at 10:24 PM
So, I wonder if these legislators would say that a Jehovah's Witness group should be allowed not cover insurance for blood transfusions because it's against their religious principles? Or if a Christian Science group refused treatment for <insert disease here> because they don't believe in modern medicine. What about the fundamentalist religious groups who say that it's OK to let their children die rather than treat diabetic shock? Should they be allowed to choose their coverage cafeteria-style, just because? Or what about religious inclusions? Should peyote and marijuana be covered as treatment for those who believe that these will cure their ailments (and there are that religiously believe so)? You either include all religious exemptions (additive and subtractive) or none. I vote for no religious exemptions.
R.U. Serious February 17, 2012 at 10:56 PM
To Shawn Y: AMEN. (Irony intended!)
R.U. Serious February 17, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Just a thought: Why do religions get to opt out, under current law, for their church-only employees? (As opposed to the current issue of employees of church-run secular organizations like hospitals & universities....) These people are allowed to be discriminated against, because the church is against birth control? In our secular society, it's legal and covered by most other employers, so why does the church get out of that just because these people work in a church-only environment? So what? They STILL are citizens of this Country and should enjoy the same rights & privileges.... Not only that...but explain to me again WHY churches are tax-exempt?
Chris Crawford February 18, 2012 at 07:12 AM
Rep. Notter asked a question regarding a medical study to a colleague during a hearing. She did not make a conclusive statement, and she did not testify on behalf of the study. She simply asked a question regarding a study. Rep. Notter is getting paid $100 a year to go to Concord and take a stand for what she believes is right for the people of this state. And what has she gotten in return? She's gotten viral videos that take her words out of context, and she's got this "news" story about how she simply asked a question in a hearing. As is often said, reasonable people can disagree. If you disagree with Rep. Notter, that's fine. But there is no reason to call her an idiot and no reason to compare her to mentally ill people. That's outrageous. She's putting herself in the public sphere, and some of you despicable people think it's cute to attack her from behind a keyboard. She has done a lot of good work in the State House, and she is currently standing up to defend religious liberty. To suggest that she is trying to uphold "white men's power" is ridiculous. If any conservatives used the language and tactics the left has used against Rep. Notter, they would be crucified as sexist bigots. I suggest that Merrimack voters examine the real issue at hand: religious liberty. Don't be distracted by the side show attacks on a good woman.
Chris Buda February 18, 2012 at 08:23 AM
Barack Obama and the Democrats have figured out that they can divert attention away from their failed records by bringing up the issue of contraception. As anyone asked why Mitt Romney was barraged with questions from Democrat George Stephanopoulos in a recent debate about contraception? Why did HHS issue a contraception mandate? To get everyone to talk about contraception not our national debt which has increased 42% under the Obama administration or $5.00 per gallon gas this summer because we have no energy policy. Based on the over 40 comments on this story it looks like their little gamble has paid off. Rep Notter echos the concerns of many around the state and the nation on what we put into our bodies whether it is a type of food or drug or anything else for that matter. It would be naive to believe that the food or drug industries wouldn't hire K Street lobbyists to get exemptions from regulations that are supposed to protect the public. Why wouldn't anybody have the right to question whether a food or a drug is safe? Nobody is going to loose their right to contraception in this state or anywhere else for that matter. House Resolution 29 is nothing more than a statement, that is all that it is. Has anybody heard about the plan to put Merrimack in CD 2? There is a hearing on that Tuesday 11.30AM at the State House if anybody cares.
Tim L. February 18, 2012 at 01:50 PM
Rosemarie, the video link you posted was done by Zandra Rice-Hawkins, a transplant from Washington State, who is the hired gun of the SEIU. Her husband is a Union organizer as well with reputations of embracing "gotcha" politics in the worse sort of way. I find it very ironic that you would embrace a "gotcha" video by this individual when she submitted an OpEd to the Concord Monitor in January of this year castigating conservative blogger, James O'Keefe, of doing the same thing. She's a hypocrite. I've attached the hyperlink as an offer of proof: http://www.concordmonitor.com/article/305871/prosecute-the-fake-voters?CSAuthResp=1329572307%3Ahfq6qdqek1jath7kv7c4l2ujl6%3ACSUserId%7CCSGroupId%3Aapproved%3A650C8752F3582CCDC3090C810C038F26&CSUserId=94&CSGroupId=1 Addressing the video itself, I understood what Rep. Notter was communicating, even if the entire testimony was truncated. We do rally around people in time of crisis. And, that was the point. And, Rep. Hotter said "fundraiser" not "bake sales" which was the context of the hit piece. Hypocrisy and misinformation at its best. I hope that you don't support that kind of approach with NH politics.
Rosemarie Rung February 18, 2012 at 02:21 PM
Tim L., if you don't know the difference between a videotape of an elected official debated a bill in a public committee and a hidden video of someone breaking the law (and in doing so, bringing painful heartache to recent widows), then your political obsession clouds common sense and decency.
Rosemarie Rung February 18, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Okay, Chris...let's test your intellectual capacity. Rep. Notter expresses concern that by enabling use of birth control pills, rates of prostrate cancer may rise, but she votes to lower the cigarette tax thus RAISING cancer rates (lower costs leads to higher cancer has been proven), you say she supports religious freedom but she supports NH bills being tied to the Magna Carta? Her votes and her positions reveal that she is out of touch with science, she does not understand the Magna Carta, upon which she wants NH bills to relate, is more about religious oppression than anything else. Also, she knew very well that the salary of a rep is $100 and she stills sought the position. Making just $100 is no excuse for poor decisions that are doing NOTHING to solve the real problems facing NH. Supporting her performance shows how partisanship on your part is trumping simple common sense.
Rosemarie Rung February 18, 2012 at 02:36 PM
Chris B., do you ever notice that when a NH constituent raises issues about a NH state rep, Republicans bring it back to Obama? This has to do with NH. NH has had a birth control mandate for over 10 years that is more RESTRICTIVE than what is proposed at the national level. NH Republicans look like idiots criticizing Obama's plan when they've had a more restrictive mandate since George W was elected. If Rep Notter was so concerned about what we put in our bodies, she would not have lowered the cigarette tax. That is her "smoking gun" that her intentions are based on partisan politics than health.
Scott Morales February 18, 2012 at 04:11 PM
The larger point that Rep. Notter was making is beware of unintended consequences, and after reading many of the posts here, I think that point is worth considering. Many posts contain emotional points about who can opt out, what can and should be covered or not be covered etc. Some posters appear anxious about the topic as if something was going to be set in stone--never to be changed--and we’ll be doomed to live with it. I agree somewhat with that sentiment. However, I think this is the natural result when govt. gets involved, meaning that an entity, can decide, arbitrarily, what’s to be covered and what’s not, based on any capricious reasoning available. In some cases, that reasoning come from the left, as in this case (i.e. insurance must cover birth control). In other cases, from the right. People have strong beliefs here. These may not be met when the decision isn’t up to the people, but rather up to some unelected administrator. Regardless of what side you’re on, left/right, pro/con, I ask: If it’s OK to have the coercive power of govt. used to support your side, are you equally agreeable when it is used to support the other side? To put it in stark relief, consider this: are you OK falling in line with President Palin’s--or better yet, HHS Sec Palin’s--arbitrary decisions? To me, it’s not a matter of birth control per se. It’s a matter of keeping the individual sphere protected from the coercion of the state. Birth control now, what next?
R.U. Serious February 18, 2012 at 04:29 PM
Chris B. Maybe you need to be informed by other sources than Limbaugh, Beck & Fox "News". Dem.s are NOT the ones who made an issue out of this silliness, have no reason to. The GOP did. GOP candidates are having trouble finding positions to set themselves apart from Obama & each other in any electable way. They jumped on this non-issue to say that the Dems. are "Waging a war on religion" (sound familiar?) and therefore hope to appeal to the religious-right. (After all that is the tea-party, religious-right base to which they are trying to appeal) From the beginning the Dem.s have been in "reaction-mode" to GOP attacks; and at least for me, I've been bemused by the seriousness this NON-issue has taken.... The "religious freedom" argument too is a ploy & a "red-herring" set out to paint the President as anti-religion and un-American. Actually the President has been SO accommodating to religion that it prompted an Op-ed in the Huffington Post recently from Barry Lynn (Director of Americans United for Separation of Church & State) In which he called Obama's faith-based initiative "pretty much identical to the deeply problematic one created by President George W. Bush" That doesn't sound like war on religion to me. I don't know Rep. Notter personally, and I'm guessing that you don't either. The snippet of video may indeed have caught her on an "Off" day and out of context. What WAS caught however is concerning, and should be to you & other NH residents as well.
R.U. Serious February 18, 2012 at 04:40 PM
PS: In our secular nation, churches & other religious groups are simply interest groups. Like the NRA, Farm Lobby, Teachers Lobby.... Obama made a mistake, in my humble opinion, making ANY accommodations for them at ALL. They already have a "waiver" to NOT supply birth-control to any employees of their strictly religious affiliations (i.e churches & the sort....) WHY should they get ANY further waiver for those secular institutions they run which work with other-than-Catholics? (i.e hospitals, universities....) Others who run these same sort of institutions don't have that same waiver opportunity. Isn't that flying in the face of our intent towards separation of church & state? No church affiliation shall be seen to be "endorsed" or promoted over any other in our country....we are SECULAR. (Allowing freedom to practice you own religion without fear of persecution by the "ruling" religion.) Therefore, the Catholic church, or the Morman church, or the Christian Scientists, Protestants, Farm Lobby, or whatever, should be treated equally. As any other institution. Contraception is legal, a preventative-health issue & simply should be included in ANY health care requirements by ALL institutions. Sounds more to me like a back-door attempt to make the Affordable Health Care Act into a hollowed-out husk. If Institutions can pick-and-choose what they will cover, then what's next?
R.U. Serious February 18, 2012 at 05:01 PM
PPS: Christian Scientists are against blood-transfusions aren't they? So can they keep it away from their employees too? Which group is it that doesn’t believe in vaccinations? So those are not to be covered by their insurance? How about the folks who believe that ANY intervention of medical professionals is “against God’s will” ? Yikes. Whew. I know.... it’s starting to get silly isn’t it? But sometimes it helps to take the argument to it’s logical extreme to get a better look at it..... It all seems to be silliness. Unfortunately these people are, or want to be, in positions of power to make & maintain our laws. THAT’S the scary part. We need to keep informed and watch them all with a wary eye, while taking all rhetoric with a TON of salt. Participating in our Democratic process, keeping dialogues open, while making our wishes known. Frankly, from what I’m hearing, we need to keep an eye on Rep. Notter & most of the GOP candidates. Personally I think we have a better chance of sensible, rational & inclusive legislature from Obama.
B. E. Grady February 18, 2012 at 06:00 PM
They had boys.
B. E. Grady February 18, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Since the repub reps like to follow along with their out of state buddies' crazy ideas, who will be the one to introduce Virginia's latest assault on women ?
Chris Buda February 18, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Since nothing will come out of House Res 29 other than a statement so there is no issue here. The contraception issue was created by Obama for the benefit of Obama to divert attention from his failed Presidency. So Rosemarie unless there is some issue of importance you wish to advance that is being neglected at the State Level I will just consider you a Jeanine Notter critic.
R.U. Serious February 18, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Chris B. Maybe you need to be informed by other sources than Limbaugh, Beck & Fox "News". (BTW these are ENTERTAINMENT shows, and are indeed amusing, however they should not be the basis for anyones' political opinions....) Dem.s are NOT the ones who made an issue out of this silliness, have no reason to. The GOP did. GOP candidates are having trouble finding positions to set themselves apart from Obama & each other in any electable way; jumped on this non-issue to say that Dems. are "Waging a war on religion" (sound familiar?) and therefore hope to appeal to the religious-right. From the beginning Dem.s have been in "reaction-mode" to GOP attacks; and at least for me, I've been bemused by the seriousness this NON-issue has taken.... The "religious freedom" argument too is a ploy & a "red-herring" set out to paint the President as anti-religion and un-American. Actually the President has been SO accommodating to religion that it prompted an Op-ed in Huffington Post recently from Barry Lynn (Director of Americans United for Separation of Church & State) In which he called Obama's faith-based initiative "pretty much identical to the deeply problematic one created by President George W. Bush" Doesn't sound like war on religion to me. I don't know Rep. Notter personally. Guessing that you don't either. This snippet of video may indeed have caught her on an "Off" day and out of context. What WAS caught however is concerning, and should be to you & other NH residents as well.
Davis204 February 18, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Can we all agree she is not fit to hold office? 1 term maybe too much.
David Fuhs February 19, 2012 at 12:52 AM
This sounds like just the kind of study that Michelle Bachmann would like to quote - because it is nonsense!
R.U. Serious February 19, 2012 at 02:46 AM
Yep.
Scott Morales February 19, 2012 at 01:41 PM
"If Institutions can pick-and-choose what they will cover, then what's next?" Freedom.
Lynda B. May 21, 2012 at 06:34 PM
It must be the birth control pill residue in the water in Merrimack......
Debra W June 17, 2012 at 02:16 PM
Scary. Another nut case trying to force her beliefs on others. She should not be in office. Does she realize that most Catholics use and want to continue using birth control? And does this rep eat meat? Take medicines?
peggy steidel October 06, 2012 at 01:25 PM
jeanine, i was a parishoner at st thomas's in riverside when father charles sheldon was there. he was such an inspirational priest . his family's story was so heart breaking and thay were a family who gave so much for our country. ilike you i have always been pro life. i helped the local pro life center and father charles helped one of my friends in the 80's find salvation and happiness after her heatbreaking abortion of her baby. is father okay? are you still in contact with him? hope to hear from you. peggy steidel
Malcolm Nelles November 02, 2012 at 09:27 PM
Sure surprised to hear this. Have had prostate cancer for 20 years and part of my treatment involves periodic courses of an anti-androgen plus estrogen, the idea being that estrogen 'fools' the cancer into thinking that I am a woman. It is testosterone that I have to avoid. There are many thousands of men who follow this regimen. Glad that Ms. Notter doesn't represent anybody in THIS country.
Rosemarie Rung November 02, 2012 at 10:52 PM
Malcolm, unfortunately, Ms. Notter DOES represent the residents of Merrimack, but I hope that voters do not vote for her on Election Day. She does not have the intellectual capacity to critically understand the issues.
Bob Regan July 09, 2013 at 02:33 PM
I got here from a link to this story on Huffington Post and I have to ask. Where the hell is Merrimack?
Carolyn Dube (Editor) July 09, 2013 at 02:42 PM
Merrimack is in Southern New Hampshire about 50 minutes north of Boston.

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