Holly Kelly Ennis
Reflections From The Essure Rallies........
During the 2,000-mile flight home from the Essure Problems Rally in San Diego, my mind is filled with a barrage of images, both haunting and inspiring. Rally images depicting banners and posters, tee shirts and little signs grasped by e-babies’ hands, run through my mind on an endless reel. I am both horrified, yet uplifted by what I have seen and experienced this weekend. Horrified by the visions of doctors peering at us through ACOG’s protective windows like animals in a zoo; who raced by us, eyes averted, afraid to meet our gaze and hear our voices. Yet uplifted by the strength of the women whose voices will not be silenced. I came to bear witness and stand in support with the thousands of women who have been harmed by a controversial sterilization device, whose potential for harm seems boundless.
I witnessed women, with broken bodies and broken spirits caused by a company that betrayed them, rise up against it. These women have suffered doctors who ignored their pleas for help, employers who dismissed them when they were too sick to work, husbands who abandoned them in their failing health, babies who yearned for their mother’s loving arms when they were too sick to care for their children, and, the despair and demoralization that comes from knowing you are slowly dying, yet all you can think about is how you are failing your family. Still, they rise up. The women have endured so many health issues, thousands of procedures and hundreds of surgeries, to get to their new ‘normal’- Still they rise up. Often in pain, they awake each morning to go to work and/or to care for children because they have learned how strong they can be, when being strong is the only option. Yet, still they rise up.
Saturday, across the country from New Jersey to San Diego, Florida to Montana and Texas to Ohio, Essure victims nationwide, united together and rallied against the controversial Essure Sterilization Device. From Bayer’s headquarters in New Jersey to the ACOG meeting in San Diego, they rose up. They came by planes, trains and automobiles, traveling near and far to support the cause most important to them. On budgets stretched thin, sharing rooms and resources, they came to have their voices heard and their stories told. They hail from completely different walks of life, backgrounds, religions and socio-economic backgrounds: from tattoos to tiaras they share a common goal-the elimination of Essure. For the women who have suffered from the device and demand it be removed from the market, the consensus clearly is, “If not us, then who?” and “If not now, then when?” Clearly the time is now and the women harmed by Essure, show no signs of slowing down until this defective device is removed from the market. Still, they rise up.
Although as haunting as the background was, the rallies were uplifting and inspirational. The love and support the women share is overwhelming and palpable. Support exudes from the Facebook page where nearly 34,000 women are always on hand to lend an ear, offer support and advice and extend what is a virtually lifeline for many who suffered alone and in silence. The E-Sisters are a force to be reckoned with and Bayer better take notice. So as much as Bayer and ACOG wish the E-sisters would silently fade away, their strength and determination is greater than ever. Beware Bayer-They Rise Up!