Recently, Australian politician Eric Abetz appeared on a program called The Project. There, he was asked if he believed the rumor that abortion leads to breast cancer.
“I think the studies, and I think they date back from the 1950s, assert that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer,” Abetz said.
Transcripts of the interview, however, indicate that Abetz might not have been given the chance to explain himself.
None-the-less, his remark caused the Australian Medical Association (AMA) to quickly retort, hoping that the statement wouldn’t cause old debates to rise to the surface. The AMA President Associate Professor Brian Owler indicated that Abetz took his belief from old breast cancer studies that were biased and leaned toward anti-abortion ideology. They asserted that none of that information was current or backed by modern medical studies.
Rumors began circling the internet anyway, stating that abortion and breast cancer were linked.
If what the AMA says is true, where are people getting their faulty facts from?
People are getting their facts from the source that Owler mentioned in his statement. In the 90s, a study was done on the connection between abortions and breast cancer. It was found that their test subjects were badly handled and that they came to their results in order to affect the pro-life/pro-choice debate.
The study was bias.
“More rigorous recent studies demonstrate no causal relationship between induced abortion and a subsequent increase in breast cancer risk,” the Committee on Gynecologic Practice of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) concluded.
The ACOG’s study used proper protocol and methods to discern their result on the breast cancer/abortion bond, “early studies of the relationship between prior induced abortion and breast cancer risk were methodologically flawed. More rigorous recent studies demonstrate no causal relationship between induced abortion and a subsequent increase in breast cancer risk.”
“Women who have had an induced abortion have the same risk of breast cancer as other women.
“Women who have had a spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) have the same risk of breast cancer as other women.
“Cancers other than breast cancer also appear to be unrelated to a history of induced or spontaneous abortion.”
The Department of Cancer Etiology asserted that their results “provide strong evidence that there is no relationship between incomplete pregnancy and breast cancer risk.”
The science on the subject is clear. Breast cancer and abortion are not linked. A Huffington Post blogger, Lara Huffman, wrote about the use of old anti-facts in the pro-life/pro-choice argument:
“Using breast cancer, a very deadly disease that approximately 40,000 people will die from in 2014, in the pro-life vs. pro-choice debate is disgusting and offensive. Women (mostly) are losing their lives, and you want to add shame (based in bias and anti-science) to their struggles?”
[ Image courtesy of cancer.gov ]