Informed Consent: Women's Right to Know About the Breast Cancer & Abortion Link
Click here to read article from the Abortion-Breast Cancer Quarterly by Joel Brind, Ph.D. discussing Congressman Weldon’s letter.
Earlier this summer, when the House debated whether to support FDA approval of the abortion drug RU-486, a debate was stirred over the question of whether abortion increased women's risk of developing breast cancer.
Numerous studies have been done demonstrating a statistical link between induced abortion and the occurrence of breast cancer. Last fall, the British Medical Association's Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health published a comprehensive review and analysis of all previously published studies on the possible relationship between induced abortion and the incidence of breast cancer. Nineteen out of 23 studies indicated increased risk to women.
In one study, Dr. Janet Daling and a team of researchers at Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center reported that,
"among women who had been pregnant at least once, the risk of breast cancer in those who had experienced an induced abortion was 50% higher than among other women."
Nevertheless, organizations such as Planned Parenthood Federation of America assert that the science is inconclusive and that women should not be frightened by information about a possible link.
In the enclosed Wisconsin Law Review Article, author John Kindley takes issue with Planned Parenthood's posture in this debate. He makes a persuasive case for the potential legal and liability of abortion providers who do not inform women about the prospect of increased risk for breast cancer following an induced abortion.
As legislators, we also have an ethical responsibility to ensure that we are not facilitating or promoting a procedure which poses a significant health risk to women. Approximately 1.5 million abortions are performed each year in the United States, making the prospect of increased breast cancer cases a health care time bomb.
While Planned Parenthood is concerned that pro-life politics is behind the public education effort on the abortion-breast cancer link, I am equally (if not more) concerned that pro-abortion politics are preventing vital information from being given to women.
I encourage you to take time over the August break to read this important article, consider for yourself the scientific evidence, and judge whether Congress and this Administration have a duty to ensure that women know all the facts on abortion. If you would like to speak with, or set up an appointment with Mr. Kindley to discuss this very important information, you may contact him at JAKindley [at] aol.com.
Dave Weldon, M.D.
Member of Congress