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There used to be a joke that an aspirin could keep you from getting pregnant — if you held it between your knees. Now there’s a new twist: birth control pills can help you get pregnant — if you take them as part of one of AID’s Third World “contraceptive inundation” programs.

The inundation strategy means that every woman can get pills, whether she needs them or not. About 90 percent of the women receiving AID pills in Bangladesh are lactating, and these women do not need pills. Lactation suppresses ovulation in most women and can help prevent pregnancy for as long as 18 to 22 months after childbirth. The pill, however, can interfere with this natural occurrence. Scientists have reported that irregular use of the pill during lactation may actually stimulate ovulation and cause an early return to fertility. If you consider the pill’s side effects — dizziness, headaches and depression — it’s easy to understand why pill use among Bangladeshi women is often highly irregular.

Dr. Henry Mosely, a Johns Hopkins University professor, who has studied AID’s inundation approach in Bangladesh, believes that the possibility of a pill-induced population explosion is “a matter of some concern.” But AID’s Dr. R. T. Ravenholt, father of the inundation strategy, does not worry about it. “We supply an unlimited amount of free pills. As long as they’re taking the pills, they can’t get pregnant.”

AID may have the last word anyway: the agency is the sole source of funding for the Census Bureau’s international head counts. In 1977, Rep. Frederick Richmond (D-NY) charged AID with suppressing data unflattering to its programs.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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