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Mom Sues Birth Control Manufacturer After Arrival of Unplanned Daughter

Birth control pills

You can recall the pills but it’s a bit harder to recall the baby

“She has an amazing personality. She’s the happiest child,” Shanta Russell, 33, said to the Kansas City Star about 1-year-old daughter. “She’s the most precious thing that ever happened. I can’t live without her.”

But while she can’t live without her, she’s still blaming Qualitest Pharmaceuticals for her daughter’s existence. Russell had been taking birth-control pills manufactured by them when she became pregnant in June 2011.

It was three months later that she received a recall notice in the mail along with a warning that the pills “may” have been placed in the wrong order in the packs, potentially rendering them ineffective. She’s now suing Qualitest for her health care costs, the cost of raising her daughter and the emotional pain she says she endured.

“I was devastated,” Russell said in the Star. “I questioned myself. After all these years, how could this happen? Then I received a letter in the mail. Of course I was angry. There was nothing I did that was a mistake.”

The pill is 99 percent effective when taken correctly, however, they need to be taken in a specific order, which wasn’t possible according to the recall because the placebo pills were placed in the slot where the pills containing hormones should have been.

Russell was single when she got pregnant and worked two jobs. She knew she wanted to be a mom — but just not yet. She considered an abortion but decided that based on her age, she should keep the baby.

According to the Star, whatever the outcome of Russell’s lawsuit “may set a benchmark for payments offered to other women who have sued.”

There are also lawsuits against the same company from women in California, Tennessee and Texas who said they became pregnant as a result of the recalled pills.

Photo credit: iStockphoto

More from Meredith on Babble’s Mom blog:

Read (even) more from Meredith at Babble’s Toddler blog, follow her on Twitter, and check out her weekly column on the Op-Ed page of The Denver Post at MeredithCarroll.com

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