Abortion and Breast Cancer:
A number of studies have found a link between abortion and breast cancer.
To date 22 studies have been published in medical journals, of which
17 find a link.
It is true that in half these studies, the results were not
conclusive. The number of women included who had abortions and who
contracted breast cancer was not large enough to be sure that the results
found were not simply coincidence. But twelve of the studies did
give statistically significant results, and of these, eleven found that
there was a connection and one found that there was not.
For the most part, pro-abortion activists have simply ignored or
downplayed these results.
Some have said that the one study finding no connection has "proven"
that the eleven which found a connection must be mistaken. Case closed.
A more substantive rebuttal is that these studies suffer from "recall
bias". According to this theory, the studies are flawed because they
rely on women's self-reporting about whether they have had abortions.
Women may not want to admit that they have had abortions, or they may
have forgotten until a health problem brings the abortion back to
There are several objections one could make to this theory.
- It seems very unlikely that a woman would forget that she has
had an abortion. Pro-abortionists routinely say that a woman would never
have an abortion without deep soul-searching, consulting with her pastor
or priest, etc etc.
Therefore, we must conclude that the vast majority of these women are,
simply lying. This too is a troubling claim. We must believe that
middle-aged black women, in particular, are incredible liars, as
a study published in the Journal of the National Medical Association
(December 1993) found that black women of age 50 and older who
had one or more induced abortions had an increased cancer risk of 370%.
To claim that this result is entirely due to consistent lying on the
part of black women sounds rather racist to me.
- Studies done with animals have found similar results to human
studies. In a study published in the American Journal of Pathology
(August 1980, pp 497-511), researchers performed abortions on rats
and then compared their breast cancer rates to a control group. They
found that the aborted rats had fourteen times the breast cancer rate as
rats who had carried their pregnancies to term. It seems fair to
suppose that this study could not have suffered from "recall bias", as
the researchers did not interview the rats.
- At least one (human) study, published in the International Journal of
Epidemiology (1989, Dr. Holly Howe, et al, pp 300-304), did not rely
on interviews. Instead they used New York
databases of induced abortion and breast cancer. They
found the overall risk of breast cancer from induced abortion was
an increase of 90%.
A side note: One could ask whether pro-choice people are really
as "pro-choice" and "pro-woman" as they claim, or whether they are,
in fact, truly
"pro-abortion". If they really cared about choice, wouldn't they want
women to have as much information as possible, so they could make a truly
informed choice? If they really cared about women, wouldn't they warn
them about possible adverse health effects, even if they honestly
believed the danger to be uncertain? Products have been pulled from
the shelves on much less evidence than the present case about the
abortion / breast-cancer link.
Most of the information for this article came from
Cancer Awareness Canada | 810 W. Broadway (651) |
Vancouver, BC, Canada V5Z 4C9
Posted 9 Sep 2000.
Copyright1996 by Ohio Right to Life.
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