ILLINOIS LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR CORINNE WOOD APPEARED BEFORE THE SENATE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE IN OPPOSITION TO SENATE RESOLUTION 8 (SR 8), A RESOLUTION CALLING FOR A TASK FORCE TO INVESTIGATE THE ABORTION-BREAST CANCER LINK, ON MAY 23, 2001. WE ARE PROVIDING HER PRESS RELEASE AND ACCOMPANYING TESTIMONY. CORINNE WOOD IS A BREAST CANCER SURVIVOR, A SPOKESPERSON FOR BREAST CANCER AND CHAIR OF WOMEN'S HEALTH ILLINOIS. SHE DESCRIBES HERSELF AS PRO-CHOICE.
SR 8 PASSED THE COMMITTEE BY A VOTE OF 7 TO 4. HOWEVER, ON TUESDAY, MAY 31, 2001 THE MEASURE FAILED TO PASS THE ILLINOIS SENATE BY ONLY THREE VOTES BECAUSE NOT ALL OF THE SENATORS WERE ON THE FLOOR AT THE TIME THAT THE VOTE WAS CALLED.
THE ABORTION-BREAST CANCER ISSUE WILL REVEAL THE TRUE COLORS OF WOMEN'S ORGANIZATIONS AND POLITICIANS, WHO HAVE ARDENTLY PROFESSED TO CARE ABOUT WOMEN'S HEALTH, BUT WHO AT THE SAME TIME CONTINUE TO SUPPORT THE ABORTION INDUSTRY, IN SPITE OF RESEARCH SPANNING A 44 YEAR PERIOD LINKING ABORTION WITH THIS DEADLY DISEASE.
OUR COMMENTARY APPEARS IN UPPERCASE LETTERS.
Lt. Governor Corinne Wood Impacts Vote Total in Senate Executive Committee. Wood Asks Lawmakers to Stop Playing Politics with Women's Health.
(Springfield) - Following impassioned testimony by Illinois Lieutenant Governor Corinne Wood, the Illinois Senate Executive Committee today passed SR 8 by the slimmest of margins on a vote of 7-4. Two members voted present.
(THE TRUTH IS THAT WOOD FAILED TO CAPTURE THE SUPPORT OF HER OWN PARTY.)
Wood, a breast cancer survivor, asked Senators to vote "no" on the resolution to create a Task force to examine an alleged link between breast cancer and abortion. The Task Force would be comprised of 3 Republican members of the Senate and 2 Democratic members.
Wood's opposition to the Resolution stems from her belief that scientific determinations on the causes of cancer should be made in the research labs of our premier institutions, not in the Chambers of the State Capitol.
(WHY SHOULDN'T LEGISLATORS BE MADE AWARE OF THE CONSIDERABLE EVIDENCE OF SCIENTIFIC MISCONDUCT? SHOULDN'T GOVERNMENT HAVE AN INTEREST IN THE PUBLIC HEALTH? ORGANIZED MEDICINE HAS ALREADY DEMONSTRATED ITS EXTREME RELUCTANCE TO INFORM WOMEN ABOUT THE EXISTENCE OF MORE THAN TWO DOZEN STUDIES PUBLISHED OVER THE LAST FOUR AND A HALF DECADES WHICH HAVE LINKED ABORTION WITH BREAST CANCER. WHY DOES WOOD WANT TO CONTINUE THE STATUS QUO?)
"I don't believe that even well-intentioned politicians sitting on a task force have the scientific background to make a determination and study an issue that clearly remains unresolved by leading national and international health experts."
(YES, BUT THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY HAS BEEN LEGISLATING ABORTION FOR THIRTY YEARS, AND ITS MEMBERS HAVE REPEATEDLY CALLED ABORTION "HEALTH CARE." ARE WE NOW TO BELIEVE THAT THE SENATORS WERE NOT QUALIFIED ALL OF THOSE YEARS TO MAKE SUCH DETERMINATIONS?)
This is the second consecutive year that such a resolution has been introduced in the Illinois General Assembly. In 2000, SR 214 passed out of the Senate Executive Committee by a partisan vote, with the 8 Republican members voting yes and 4 Democratic members voting present. Wood did not testify on the resolution last year.
"Last year when this resolution came up, I did not testify. I had hoped that this resolution, that I believe is truly playing politics with women's health, would die a natural death. But it has been introduced again, and I could no longer stand silently by," said Wood following the hearing.
(WHO IS REALLY "PLAYING POLITICS WITH WOMEN'S HEALTH?" THOSE WHO DON'T WANT LEGISLATORS TO EXAMINE THE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH, OR THOSE WHO DO? THOSE WHO DON'T WANT WOMEN TO BE ABLE TO MAKE AN INFORMED CHOICE, OR THOSE WHO DO?)
Numerous studies examining the alleged link between breast cancer and abortion have reached conflicting conclusions. Wood pointed to leading health organizations including the American Cancer Society, the National Cancer Institute, the New England Journal of Medicine and the National Breast Cancer Coalition, all who conclude that there is no scientific link between breast cancer and abortion.
(WOOD'S INFORMATION IS INCORRECT. NONE OF THE FIRST THREE ORGANIZATIONS THAT SHE LISTS HAS CONCLUDED THAT THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC LINK BETWEEN BREAST CANCER AND ABORTION. MORE ACCURATE STATEMENTS WOULD BE THAT: 1) THE AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY OFFICIALLY ACKNOWLEDGES THAT THE RESEARCH IS INCONCLUSIVE, AND ONE OF ITS RESEARCHERS HAS MADE AN ABSOLUTE STATEMENT THAT ABORTION BEFORE A FIRST FULL TERM PREGNANCY INCREASES THE RISK OF BREAST CANCER [WINGO, THE LANCET, FEB. 22, 1986, P. 436]; 2) THE NATIONAL CANCER INSTITUTE SUFFERED A LOSS OF ITS CREDIBILITY CONCERNING THE ABORTION-BREAST CANCER RESEARCH FOLLOWING ACCUSATIONS FROM PHYSICIANS IN CONGRESS, AMONG WHICH IT WAS SUGGESTED THAT THE NCI HAD A "BIAS FOR LACK OF WHAT THE FACTS ARE;" BUT THE AGENCY HAS SINCE TAKEN BABY STEPS IN THE DIRECTION OF ACKNOWLEDGING ON ITS WEBSITE LATE IN 1999 THAT "SOME STUDIES HAVE INDICATED SMALL ELEVATIONS IN RISK, WHILE OTHERS HAVE NOT SHOWN ANY RISK ASSOCIATED WITH EITHER INDUCED OR SPONTANEOUS ABORTION;" [REP. TOM COBURN, M.D., THE STATE OF CANCER RESEARCH, COMMITTEE ON COMMERCE, JULY 20, 1998;] AND 3) THE NEW ENGLAND JOURNAL OF MEDICINE ACKNOWLEDGED THAT INDUCED ABORTION IS A POSSIBLE "RISK FACTOR" FOR BREAST CANCER IN A FEBRUARY, 2000 ARTICLE BY KATRINA ARMSTRONG.)
In lieu of a weighted partisan task force, Wood challenged the committee to instead provide funding for a comprehensive, legitimate research at a leading Illinois Health education institution.
(THERE ARE ALREADY 27 OUT OF 35 STUDIES PUBLISHED SINCE 1957 WHICH HAVE LINKED ABORTION WITH BREAST CANCER. MOREOVER, THERE IS MUCH EVIDENCE OF SCIENTIFIC MISCONDUCT AND A CONSIDERABLE EFFORT ON THE PART OF SCIENTISTS TO CONCEAL THEIR FINDINGS. WHAT GUARANTEE DO WOMEN HAVE THAT THERE WON'T BE MORE SCIENTIFIC MISCONDUCT?
BIAS IN THE SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY IS SO EXTREME THAT SCIENTISTS HAVE BEEN WILLING TO STATE IN THEIR CONCLUSIONS THAT NO LINK BETWEEN ABORTION AND BREAST CANCER WAS FOUND, IN SPITE OF THE FACT THAT THEIR OWN DATA DEMONSTRATED A SIGNIFICANTLY INCREASED RISK. OTHER SCIENTISTS HAVE REMARKED IN THEIR CONCLUSIONS THAT NO POSITIVE ASSOCIATION WAS FOUND, ALTHOUGH THEY'D NOT OFFERED ANY DATA IN THEIR STUDIES WHATSOEVER ADDRESSING AN ABORTION-BREAST CANCER LINK.
ROHAN ET AL STASHED DATA CONCERNING ITS MOST SIGNIFICANT RISK FACTOR -- ABORTION -- IN THE PROVERBIAL "FILE DRAWER" AND NEVER PUBLISHED IT. THE AUSTRALIAN STUDY WAS PUBLISHED IN THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF EPIDEMIOLOGY IN 1988, AND THE ABORTION DATA WERE WITHHELD FOR SEVEN YEARS UNTIL ANDRIEU ET AL PUBLISHED A SMALL ANALYSIS OF SIX STUDIES. [ROHAN ET AL, VOL. 128, PP. 478-489; ANDRIEU ET AL, BRITISH JOURNAL OF CANCER (1995), VOL. 72, PP. 744-751].
EVEN THE MOST PROMINENT OF SCIENTISTS WHOSE STUDIES HAVE DEMONSTRATED A POSITIVE ASSOCIATION HAVE EXPERIENCED SIGNIFICANT DIFFICULTIES GETTING THEIR STUDIES PUBLISHED. ONLY THE ABSTRACT FOR THE 1995 BU STUDY, FOR EXAMPLE, WAS PUBLISHED IN THE AMERICAN JOURNAL OF EPIDEMIOLOGY. PUBLICATION OF THE FULL PAPER HAS NEVER TAKEN PLACE, ALTHOUGH BU ET AL DEMONSTRATED NEARLY A TRIPLING OF A CHINESE WOMAN'S RISK OF BREAST CANCER. [BU ET AL (1995) 141:S85]
THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR WANTS A LEADING ILLINOIS HEALTH INSTITUTION TO EXAMINE THE ISSUE, BUT PERHAPS SHE SHOULD FIRST CONTACT DR. SAMUEL S. EPSTEIN, A NOTED CANCER EXPERT AFFILIATED WITH THE UNIVERSITY OF ILLINOIS AND CO-AUTHOR OF THE BOOK, THE BREAST CANCER PREVENTION PROGRAM. DR. EPSTEIN IS AN ABORTION ADVOCATE, BUT HE DOES NOT LET HIS IDEOLOGY INTERFERE WITH SCIENCE. HE HAS THIS TO SAY ABOUT THE ABORTION-BREAST CANCER RESEARCH:
"FOR EXAMPLE, IF YOU WERE TO HAVE AN ABORTION AT THE AGE OF 25, YOUR RISK OF DEVELOPING CANCER AT THE AGE OF 60 WOULD INCREASE FROM 1 IN 24 TO ABOUT 1 IN 18, ESPECIALLY IF YOU HAVE MORE THAN ONE ABORTION BEFORE YOUR FIRST FULL-TERM PREGNANCY." [EPSTEIN ET AL, 1997, PP. 36-37])
Otherwise, Wood questioned what could possibly be accomplished by creating this task force. "Breast cancer is scary enough," Wood said. "We don't need to incite more fear with this dreadful disease for political gain when the facts simply aren't there."
(IT IS EMINENTLY CLEAR THAT, BY CREATING THIS TASK FORCE, TWO THINGS WOULD BE ACCOMPLISHED. FIRST, MORE WOMEN WOULD LEARN THE TRUTH -- THAT MORE THAN TWO DOZEN STUDIES LINK ABORTION WITH BREAST CANCER. THE ABORTION INDUSTRY DESPERATELY WANTS TO AVOID THIS POSSIBILITY AND WOULD PREFER TO CONCEAL THE FACTS FOR AT LEAST ANOTHER 44 YEARS. ITS PROFITS ARE ITS PRIMARY CONCERN, NOT THE HEALTH AND WELL-BEING OF WOMEN.
SECOND, WOMEN WHO HAVE HAD ABORTIONS WOULD LEARN THAT THEY ARE AT GREATER RISK FOR THIS DISEASE AND THAT THEY NEED TO BE ESPECIALLY VIGILANT ABOUT TAKING STEPS FOR EARLY DETECTION.)
Lieutenant Governor Corinne Wood; Senate Resolution 8; May 23, 2001
Thank you Mr. Chairman and members of the Committee. I am here today in opposition (to) Senate Resolution 8.
When I was first elected as Lieutenant Governor, I pledged to make health care a priority, and I believe I have kept that commitment.
Specifically through my role as chair Women's Health Illinois, I have become a strong advocate for improved access and affordability of health care for Illinois women and families.
I am very proud of our accomplishments in the last two years as Lieutenant Governor.
We expanded the Breast and Cervical Cancer Program from just 52 counties to statewide -- so that women regardless of where they live in the state have access to life saving screenings.
I am proud of our popular check for A Cure Campaign, which is now the number one check-off on the Illinois income tax form.
The program has generated more than $1 million for breast and cervical cancer research in Illinois.
We successfully lobbied for the Federal Breast and Cervical Cancer Treatment Act.
And you have my thanks for passing the companion legislation HB 25 last month to provide treatment dollars to women who otherwise would not have access once they are diagnosed with this devastating disease.
(WE URGE THE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR TO CONSIDER THE FACT THAT EVEN MORE WOMEN WILL REQUIRE TREATMENT DOLLARS FROM THE STATE OF ILLINOIS BECAUSE OF ABORTION-INDUCED BREAST CANCER. CONSERVATIVE ESTIMATES ARE THAT BY THE YEAR 2020 AN ADDITIONAL 40,000 TO 50,000 WOMEN WILL BE DIAGNOSED YEARLY BECAUSE OF PREVIOUS ABORTIONS. ADDITIONALLY, FEDERAL, STATE AND LOCAL GOVERNMENTS FUEL THE INCREASING NUMBER OF BREAST CANCER CASES THROUGH TAXPAYER SUPPORT OF PLANNED PARENTHOOD AND MEDICAID ABORTIONS. POLICYHOLDERS FURTHER FUEL THE BREAST CANCER RATES THROUGH THE PAYMENT OF PREMIUMS FOR HEALTH INSURANCE POLICIES THAT OFFER COVERAGE FOR ABORTIONS.)
I am proud of the great strides for women's health we've been making in this state.
With this in mind, I am disturbed that this Senate Resolution 8 once again is on the table. I can no longer remain silent about this thinly veiled attempt to deal with vital women's health care issues when there is clearly another political agenda.
I come to you today not as your Lieutenant Governor; Not as a Pro-Choice woman or a Pro-life woman. I am here as a breast cancer survivor.
If you have never been diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening disease that is still not completely understood, you cannot possibly imagine the thoughts that go through your head when you hear those three little words -- "You have cancer." I know those thoughts:
Why me? Am I going to die? What did I do to deserve this?
Did I somehow bring this on myself -- by eating the wrong foods, by drinking the wrong water?
Cancer patients feel enough guilt, sadness and fear because of their diagnosis.
They have enough challenges on their plate -- surgery, months of chemotherapy, months in a lifetime of living with a very devastating disease.
We don't need to add to the guilt and or the confusion to further other political agendas when the facts are simply not there.
(THIS IS A COMMON ARGUMENT EMPLOYED BY THE ABORTION INDUSTRY TO MUDDY THE WATERS AND TO SHUT US UP ABOUT THE EXISTENCE OF THE RESEARCH.
OUR COALITION IS MADE UP OF CANCER SURVIVORS, INDIVIDUALS WHOSE FAMILY MEMBERS HAVE HAD THE DISEASE AND WOMEN WHO'VE HAD ABORTIONS. WE HAPPEN TO THINK THAT THERE SHOULD BE FEWER, RATHER THAN MORE, WOMEN SUFFERING FROM CANCER AND THAT WOMEN HAVE A RIGHT TO BE FULLY INFORMED ABOUT THE RESEARCH IN ORDER TO MAKE EDUCATED CHOICES FOR THEMSELVES.
IS WOOD SUGGESTING THAT CANCER PATIENTS HAVE A GUILTY CONSCIENCE SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY'VE HAD CANCER? WE DOUBT VERY MUCH THAT THAT'S THE CASE SINCE SHE DOES NOT ALSO ARGUE IN FAVOR OF CENSORING INFORMATION ABOUT THE TOBACCO-CANCER LINK OR ANY OTHER RISK FACTOR FOR CANCER DUE TO THE ALLEGED GUILT ISSUE.
IS WOOD SUGGESTING THAT WOMEN EXPERIENCE FEELINGS OF GUILT AFTER HAVING PROCURED AN ABORTION? SHE SEEMS TO BE SAYING SO. SHE'S ARGUING THAT WOMEN ALREADY FEEL GUILTY OVER THEIR PAST ABORTION(S) AND POSSIBLY THEIR OWN CHILDLESSNESS AS WELL. SHE'S SUGGESTING THAT CANCER PATIENTS EXPERIENCE "ADDITIONAL GUILT" ONCE THEY ADMIT THAT THEIR CHOICE OF ABORTION HAS POSSIBLY CONTRIBUTED TO THE ILLNESS THAT THEY ARE NOW EXPERIENCING.
MAYBE IT IS A GRIEF PROCESS THAT REALLY NEEDS TO BE EXPERIENCED INSTEAD OF GETTING ANGRY OVER LEARNING THE FACTS AS THEY STAND. WHEN WOMEN ARE REALLY OKAY WITH THEIR ABORTIONS, THEN THE LEVEL OF GUILT OVER THE ABORTION-BREAST CANCER CONNECTION IS NOT SO GREAT OR EVEN AN ISSUE.
WHEN A WOMAN CARRIES SUCH A HEAVY BURDEN OF GUILT, SHE CAN CHANNEL THAT SENSE OF GUILT INTO SOMETHING POSITIVE. SOME WOMEN IN OUR COALITION WHO HAVE HAD ABORTIONS HAVE FOUND THAT IT IS EASIER TO COPE WITH FEELINGS OF GUILT BY HELPING OTHER WOMEN NOT TO MAKE THE SAME MISTAKE. THEY HELP US GET THE WORD OUT ABOUT THE ABORTION-BREAST CANCER LINK IN MULTIPLE WAYS, I.E. DISTRIBUTING BROCHURES.
IF TOBACCO SMOKERS HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW THAT USE OF TOBACCO IS A RISK FACTOR FOR CANCER, THEN CERTAINLY WOMEN CHOOSING ABORTION HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW THAT ABORTION IS A RISK FACTOR FOR BREAST CANCER. TOBACCO SMOKERS HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW THAT THEY NEED TO TAKE STEPS FOR EARLY DETECTION OF LUNG CANCER. SIMILARLY, WOMEN WHO'VE PROCURED ABORTIONS HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW THAT THEY NEED TO BE VIGILANT ABOUT SEEKING REGULAR MAMMOGRAMS AND PERFORMING MONTHLY BREAST SELF-EXAMINATIONS. NON-SMOKERS HAVE THE RIGHT TO KNOW ABOUT THE TOBACCO-CANCER RESEARCH IN ORDER TO CHOOSE TO AVOID THIS RISK FACTOR. LIKEWISE, WOMEN WHO'VE OBTAINED ABORTIONS HAVE A RIGHT TO HAVE ACCESS TO COMPLETE AND OBJECTIVE INFORMATION ABOUT THE ABORTION-BREAST CANCER RESEARCH IN ORDER TO AVOID THAT RISK FACTOR IF THEY SO CHOOSE.)
Advocates for this resolution site (sic) studies alleging a link, but I turn to major national health care organizations that have questioned the methodologies and conclusions of these studies.
The organizations that do not support the premise behind this resolution are health organizations. They have one premise in mind and that is to improve health care and eradicate breast cancer. They have no hidden agenda.
(ON THE CONTRARY, THE ORGANIZATIONS CITED BY WOOD HAVE CLEARLY DEMONSTRATED, THROUGH THEIR RELUCTANCE TO INFORM WOMEN OF THE EXISTENCE OF THE STUDIES LINKING THIS ELECTIVE SURGICAL PROCEDURE WITH A DEADLY DISEASE, THAT THEY DO, IN FACT, HAVE A POLITICALLY CORRECT AGENDA.)
And clearly this confusing and complicated issue should not be muddled by legislators playing politics with women's health.
We do know that a female's hormones like estrogen can play a role in breast cancer.
(IF WOOD IS TRULY AWARE THAT ESTROGEN IS CONSIDERED A SECONDARY CARCINOGEN OR A GROWTH PROMOTER OF BOTH NORMAL AND PRE CANCEROUS CELLS, THEN WHY SHOULD THE RATIONALE FOR THE ABORTION-BREAST CANCER LINK BE SO DIFFICULT FOR HER TO ACKNOWLEDGE?
AN ADVISORY COMMITTEE TO THE NATIONAL TOXICOLOGY PROGRAM ADDED ESTROGEN REPLACEMENT THERAPY (ERT) TO THE NATION'S LIST OF KNOWN CARCINOGENS EARLY IN 2001. ERT'S CHEMICAL FORM IS NOT DISSIMILAR TO THE ESTROGEN MANUFACTURED BY A WOMAN'S BODY DURING PREGNANCY. A PREGNANT WOMAN EXPERIENCES AN OVEREXPOSURE TO ESTROGEN STARTING EARLY IN THE FIRST TRIMESTER WHICH CAUSES THE BREAST CELLS TO INCREASE DRAMATICALLY. THIS EFFECT IS ONLY COUNTERACTED IN THE THIRD TRIMESTER WHEN THE BREAST CELLS BECOME SPECIALIZED INTO MILK-PRODUCING TISSUE AND HER BODY PRODUCES OTHER HORMONES WHICH PROTECT AGAINST BREAST CANCER.)
We do know that having a full term pregnancy earlier in life reduces the risk of breast cancer, but does that mean we are going to encourage younger moms?
(DOES WOOD ADVOCATE PATERNALISTIC CENSORSHIP OF THE RESEARCH? WE THINK THAT DECISION-MAKING ABOUT THE TIMING AND SPACING OF PREGNANCIES SHOULD BE RESERVED TO WOMEN THEMSELVES, NOT TO GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS. BY GIVING WOMEN COMPLETE INFORMATION, THEY ARE EMPOWERED TO BE SELF-GOVERNING INDIVIDUALS. WHY WOULDN'T WOOD WANT TO TELL WOMEN THAT THERE IS NO SCIENTIFIC DEBATE ABOUT THE FIRST WAY IN WHICH ABORTION CAUSES BREAST CANCER: VIA POSTPONEMENT OF A FIRST FULL-TERM PREGNANCY? REGARDLESS OF THE ADVERSE MEDICAL CONSEQUENCES FOR WOMEN, FEW POLITICIANS, MEDICAL ORGANIZATIONS AND ANTI-CANCER ORGANIZATIONS ARE WILLING TO SAY THOSE DREADED WORDS: "ABORTION CAUSES BREAST CANCER."
THIS COALITION ADVOCATES ABSTINENCE BEFORE MARRIAGE, BUT WHEN AN UNMARRIED WOMAN BECOMES PREGNANT SHE IS ENTITLED TO KNOW THAT CHOOSING AN ABORTION WILL HAVE A DOUBLE EFFECT ON HER LIFETIME BREAST CANCER RISK. FIRST OF ALL, HER RISK WILL BE AUGMENTED BECAUSE HER FIRST FULL TERM PREGNANCY HAS BEEN EITHER POSTPONED OR PERMANENTLY DENIED HER. SHE SHOULD KNOW THAT, IF SHE NEVER AGAIN BECOMES PREGNANT, CHILDLESS WOMEN HAVE A HIGH BREAST CANCER RISK. SECOND, AN INDUCED ABORTION WILL RESULT IN CELLULAR CHANGES IN HER BREASTS WHICH WILL CAUSE HER BREAST CELLS TO BE CANCER-VULNERABLE.)
We do know that some studies show that breast-feeding when having a child at a young age reduces the risk, but what about the women who aren't able to breast feed?
(BREAST FEEDING REDUCES A WOMAN'S EXPOSURE TO ESTROGEN AND, THEREFORE, REDUCES A WOMAN'S RISK OF BREAST CANCER. THIS IS JUST ONE MORE REASON TO INFORM WOMEN THAT HAVING AN ABORTION WILL INCREASE BREAST CANCER RISK.)
But also keep in mind that nuns in the 17th century were at a higher risk for breast cancer than the rest of the population.
(NUNS ARE AT GREATER RISK BECAUSE THEY ARE CHILDLESS.)
Advocates site (sic) studies that allegedly link breast cancer with abortion. But we point to experts at the American Cancer Society, researchers at the National Cancer Institute, scientists at Columbia University School of Public Health, and the New England Journal of Medicine -- all who conclude that there is no scientifically proven link between breast cancer and abortion.
A study published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 1997 considered to be the gold standard on the issue studied 1.5 million women and found no link.
One study from Sweden that followed women for 20 years even found that a woman who had had an abortion had a lower risk of cancer than a woman who had never been pregnant.
(SEE OUR PRESS RELEASE AT ADDRESSING MS. WOOD'S EXTENSIVE MISINFORMATION ABOUT THESE ORGANIZATIONS AND DATED MAY 24, 2001.)
The point is simple.
Advocates for this resolution can quote their studies. I will trust the leading health experts whose sole agenda is to improve health care for women.
I question what can really be accomplished with this resolution.
I don't believe that even well-intentioned politicians sitting on task force have the scientific background to make a determination and study an issue that clearly remains unresolved by leading national and international experts. I think not.
(WOOD IS APPARENTLY UNAWARE THAT THE ROYAL COLLEGE OF OBSTETRICIANS AND GYNECOLOGISTS BECAME THE WORLD'S FIRST MEDICAL ORGANIZATION LAST YEAR TO WARN ITS ABORTION PROVIDERS THAT THE ABORTION-BREAST CANCER RESEARCH "COULD NOT BE DISREGARDED." [EVIDENCE-BASED GUIDELINE #7 (2000) RCOG PRESS, PP. 29-30] THE RCOG INDICATED THAT A 1996 REVIEW OF THE ABORTION-BREAST CANCER STUDIES CONDUCTED BY THE BRIND-PENN STATE TEAM WAS METHODOLOGICALLY SOUND. BRIND ET AL IDENTIFIED 18 OF 23 STUDIES IMPLICATING ABORTION AS A RISK FACTOR FOR BREAST CANCER. THAT REVIEW INDICATED AN OVERALL INCREASED RISK OF 30%. [BRIND ET AL., J EPIDEMIOL COMMUNITY HEALTH 50:481-96]
SHE MUST ALSO BE UNAWARE OF THE FACT THAT A PAPER WAS PRESENTED BY A RESEARCHER TO THE ROYAL STATISTICAL SOCIETY LATE IN 2000 WHICH INDICATED THAT THE RECENT SURGE IN BREAST CANCER IN GREAT BRITAIN CAN BE ATTRIBUTED TO LEGALIZED ABORTION. PATRICK CARROLL, DIRECTOR OF THE PENSION AND POPULATION RESEARCH INSTITUTE, ESTIMATED THAT THERE WILL BE A 60% INCREASE IN BREAST CANCER BETWEEN 1993 AND 2023.)
Clearly the place for further study is not the political chambers of the Illinois State Capitol, but in the research labs of our premier health institutions.
If you are all truly interested in finding out whether there is validity in this issue, then the challenge is to fund additional research for breast cancer. The answer is not to resort to playing politics with women's health.
(WHAT WOOD REALLY MEANS HERE IS THAT POLITICIANS, ESPECIALLY THOSE WHO'VE VOTED "PRO-CHOICE" THROUGHOUT THEIR CAREERS, ARE PETRIFIED OF THIS POTENTIALLY EXPLOSIVE ISSUE. THEY DO NOT WANT TO EXPLAIN TO THEIR CONSTITUENTS WHY THEY'VE PROMOTED AN OPTIONAL PROCEDURE WHICH WILL CAUSE THE DEATHS OF MANY THOUSANDS OF WOMEN. THEY DON'T WANT TO BE CONFRONTED WITH THE ALLEGATION: "YOU TOLD US THAT ABORTION WAS SAFE." WE ASK THIS QUESTION: WHO IS REALLY "PLAYING POLITICS WITH WOMEN'S HEALTH?")
Breast cancer is scary enough. We don't need to in-site (sic) more fear with this dreadful disease for political gain.
(WOOD SEEMS TO BE SUGGESTING THAT THOSE WHO WANT OPEN DISCUSSION OF THE SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH ARE SEEKING POLITICAL GAIN, BUT THOSE WHO WANT TO MAINTAIN THE STATUS QUO BY AVOIDING ANY EXAMINATION OF THE RESEARCH ARE NOT.)
Its (sic) time for us to stand up for women's health. Its (sic) time that we made some real progress. Like funding breast cancer treatment. Getting more dollars for women's research. Supporting the office of women's health.
Its (sic) time that we make a real difference in the health of women who for too long have been pawns for political gain.
If this body is truly interested in finding an answer, then I challenge you to appropriate funds for legitimate research.
(WE CHALLENGE OUR OPPONENTS TO AN OPEN AND HONEST DISCUSSION OF THE RESEARCH -- NOT POLITICAL IDEOLOGY -- IN THE PUBLIC FORUM. FORTY-FOUR YEARS HAVE ELAPSED SINCE THE FIRST ABORTION-BREAST CANCER STUDY WAS PUBLISHED, AND 27 OUT OF 35 STUDIES HAVE ASSOCIATED ABORTION WITH BREAST CANCER, 17 OF WHICH ARE STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT. WOMEN DON'T HAVE ANOTHER 44 YEARS TO WAIT WHILE THE SCIENTISTS QUIETLY RESEARCH ABORTION AS A RISK FACTOR FOR BREAST CANCER. ISN'T IT TIME THAT WOMEN ARE FULLY INVOLVED IN THIS DISCUSSION?)
We can award a grant to one of our premier Illinois institutions -- the Robert Lurie Cancer Center at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, or the Cancer Institute at the University of Chicago, or the soon-to-be-created Cancer Institute at SIU School of Medicine.
You sponsor the appropriation, and I will encourage the Governor to sign it.
If women's health is what you are about today, that is the only action we should be considering.
What this resolution is about is nothing more than posturing for another political agenda.
(IF THIS PRO-CHOICE LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR WERE TRULY CONCERNED ABOUT WOMEN'S HEALTH, SHE WOULDN'T BE SO DESPERATELY AFRAID OF THE LONG-TERM POLITICAL IMPACT OF A SIMPLE RESOLUTION CALLING FOR A TASK FORCE TO EXAMINE THE ABORTION-BREAST CANCER LINK.)
The women of Illinois deserve better from this body. Thank you for your time this morning. I respectfully encourage you to vote no.