Skip to main content

New Study Finds Birth Control Triples Suicide Risk—and Other Notes from the Week

Catch up on all the news you might have missed with our handy summary of the week’s top stories.

We’re pleased to bring you “While You Were Out”—the Verily editors’ quick takes on the happenings of this week.

Want to Live Like Elizabeth Bennet?

If you’re a fan of the 1995 Colin Firth Pride and Prejudice adaptation, you’re in luck! Luckington Court, the real-life estate used as the Bennet residence in the BBC miniseries, is up for sale. Located in the Cotswolds, it is listed for just over $10 million USD. The main house features a cool eight bedrooms and seven bathrooms (so there’s plenty of room for all your sisters to visit!). That is to say nothing of the rest of the expansive grounds and subsequent building included in the estate. If you need us, we’ll be daydreaming of life in the English countryside. —Megan Madden

New Study Shows Hormonal Birth Control Users Are 3 Times More Likely to Commit Suicide

A recent study published in the American Journal of Psychiatry revealed that women who take contraceptive birth control (such as birth control pills, the patch, the ring, or hormonal IUDs) are up to three times more likely to commit suicide and 70 percent more likely to be depressed. These results were found from a study performed nationally in Denmark from 1996 to 2013, on women ages 15 and older, according to TIME. Charlotte Wessel Skovlund, the study’s lead author, compared women currently filling prescriptions for hormonal birth control to “women who did not have a history of contraceptive use.” According to the report, the patch was responsible for the highest rate of suicide followed by IUDs; The Pill was last. Skovlund also found that suicide risk peaks very early on in use, generally in the first two months. “After a year, the risk plateaued,” TIME reported.

While popular culture might have us believe that The Pill is the only modern option for women to manage fertility, experts and doctors agree that it’s not. Fertility awareness–based methods are rising in popularity the more women realize the harmful side effects that hormonal birth control presents. If you think taking the natural route is risky and ineffective, you might want to read these five myths about FABMs as you weigh your options. —Mary Margaret Olohan

SNL Cast Defends Al Franken as Charlie Rose Faces His Reckoning

According to the Los Angeles Times, some thirty members of the Saturday Night Live cast have all signed a letter showing support for Al Franken in the wake of several sexual assault allegations made against him. “What Al did was stupid and foolish, and we think it was appropriate for him to apologize . . .” the letter reads. “After years of working with him, we would like to acknowledge that not one of us ever experienced any inappropriate behavior and mention our sincere appreciation that he treated each one of us with the utmost respect and regard.” Franken reportedly kissed and groped broadcaster Leeann Tweeden while she was sleeping and similarly inappropriately grabbed Lindsey Menz at a public function. Franken apologized for his behavior and said he “felt badly” that his behavior had caused any woman to feel disrespected.

Popular TV host and interviewer Charlie Rose also came under fire this week. According to the Washington Post, eight women have accused him of sexual assault. The women were employees of the Charlie Rose Show and cited groping, lewd phone calls, and Rose walking around naked in front of them as offenses. In response, Rose admitted he acted “insensitively” but claims some of the accusations against him are false. Outlets such as CBS and PBS have since suspended or fired him. —MMO

Your Internet Might Soon Be Changing

Earlier this week, the Federal Communications Commission announced a plan that would allow internet service providers to charge users for specific content and limit access to certain websites. According to the New York Times, F.C.C. chairman Ajit Pai called for the federal government to “stop micromanaging the internet. Instead, the F.C.C. would simply require service providers to be transparent about their practices so that consumers can buy the service plan that’s best for them.” Already, companies and individuals alike have raised their voices, with Google and Facebook pointing out how the repeal would allow large providers (such as Comcast) to “play favorites” in terms of who gets to access its content. As for now, the F.C.C. anticipates lobbying, possibly in Congress, for at least the next three weeks. —Victoria Rabuse

Queen and Prince Philip Celebrate 70 Years of Marriage 

Just as we’re gearing up for season two of The Crown, the Queen of England and her husband, Prince Philip, celebrated seventy years of marriage this week. A black tie reception and dinner was thrown in the royals’ State Apartments. Unlike the magnificent festivities thrown for the couple’s diamond anniversary in 2007, this year’s events were more private due to the recent deaths of several of the Queen and Prince Philip’s close friends. Present at the ceremonies were Duchess Catherine and Princes William and Harry—both of whom will soon make a cameo appearance in Star Wars when it comes out December 15. —MMO

Some Good News About Black Friday

Hold your loved ones close and keep the doors shut as Black Friday approaches. We’re kidding—a little. In recent years, more and more stores have decided to change their hours (for the better) in order to consolidate sales and give employees reprieve. Even the Mall of America, the nation’s largest shopping center, has revolutionarily decided not to open on Black Friday until Friday morning, and will also be paying associates overtime (cheers to that!). Shopping on Black Friday doesn’t have to be the stuff of nightly local news reports with mobs of angry shoppers fighting for deals. Check out our pieces on shopping ethically, the pitfalls of Black Friday consumerism, and, if you want to get out of the house and not be in a store, some of our alternative Black Friday date ideas. —VR