Illinois Lieutenant Governor Corinne Wood Opposes Women's Health Issue; Fails to Win Support of Her Party.

Two possible Illinois gubernatorial contenders in the Republican party contested one another yesterday during the hearing on Senate Resolution 8 which calls for a task force to investigate the abortion-breast cancer link.

The sponsor of the resolution is Senator Patrick O'Malley.  Lieutenant Governor Corinne Wood, a breast cancer survivor who calls herself 'pro-choice,' opposed the measure which would allow women to make an informed choice.  However, Ms. Wood failed to win the support of her own party, and the measure passed by a vote of 7 to 4.

Planned Parenthood, the American Civil Liberties Union and the National Organization for Women appeared in opposition to this women's health issue.  Ms. Wood represented the abortion industry and its supporters well, but not pro-choice women.  She argued that the same Senators who have mandated vaccinations, called abortion "health care" on numerous occasions and passed many laws concerning abortion over the last thirty years, were not capable of making decisions on matters concerning health care.

Senator O'Malley opined, "If you were to take (Wood's) logic to its logical conclusion, then we should not have a public health committee, and we do. I don't believe there's a single doctor on our committee," he said. "We deal with evaluating studies year after year."

Karen Malec, president of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, an international women's organization, reported that "Ms. Wood was obviously given some bad information by the abortion industry.  She called the Melbye study, published by the New England Journal of Medicine in 1997, the 'gold standard.'  Two teams of researchers, including the Brind-Penn State team and Senghas and Dolan have criticized Melbye for its errors, and their criticisms were published in the NEJM.  Even Melbye said that '{w}ith each one-week increase in the gestational age of the fetus...there was a 3 percent increase in the risk of breast cancer.'  Three years after Melbye's publication, the NEJM published an article by Katrina Armstrong (Feb. 2000) in which abortion was specifically identified as a possible 'risk factor.'"

Mrs. Malec added that "Dr. Edison Liu of the National Cancer Institute (NCI) informed Congressman Tom Coburn, M.D. during a hearing on The State of Cancer Research on July 20, 1998 that 'one study does not make a conclusion.'  Twenty-seven studies call for a conclusion that differs from Melbye's.   Ms. Wood also relied on the NCI for her information, an agency whose credibility in this area of research has been significantly damaged because of allegations from physicians in Congress and Dr. Joel Brind, the international expert who conducted the 1996 review and meta-analysis of the studies, that the agency had misled the public, 'selectively released data' paid for by U.S. taxpayers and posted 'an outright lie' on its website." 

In citing another example of Ms. Wood's misinformation, Mrs. Malec said, "The lieutenant governor told the Senators on the committee that 'A 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.'  The truth of the matter is that Dr. Joel Brind proved that the Swedish researchers had covered up an abortion-breast cancer link in Norwegian women.  He made these accusations and cited the study's errors in a letter published in 1998 in the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health, and the Swedish researchers have never responded to accusations of a cover-up.  This study was funded by Family Health International, another member of the family planning industry."

Mrs. Malec concluded, "As early as 1986 when only two American studies had linked abortion with breast cancer, a researcher for the Centers for Disease Control, Phyllis Wingo, told the prestigious British journal, Lancet, that 'Induced abortion before first term pregnancy increases the risk of breast cancer.'  Ironically, she was discussing the increasing incidence of breast cancer among Swedish women.  Significantly, Wingo later went to work for the American Cancer Society.  During her employment there in 1997 she flip flopped on this health issue and, after conducting a review of the studies, concluded that she couldn't reach any definitive conclusions.  She made this assertion in spite of the fact that her data showed a clear indication in the direction of increased risk.  The American Cancer Society supports fetal tissue research, and obviously has a conflict with the best interests of breast cancer patients here."

Mrs. Malec concluded that "The abortion industry is comparable to the tobacco industry which, for many years, refused to acknowledge the existence of a tobacco-cancer link.  That industry established a very high bar for evidence and insisted that conclusive proof of a link had not been demonstrated.  Planned Parenthood and its supporters in the NCI have established the same high bar for evidence of an abortion-breast cancer link."

Mrs. Malec said, "The abortion industry reluctantly chose to raise the decibel level of the debate by inviting the lieutenant governor to speak against the measure.  In doing so, the media became interested and more women learned about what the industry had hoped to keep a secret forever -- that induced abortion is a risk factor for breast cancer."

The Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer is an international women's organization founded to protect the health and save the lives of women by educating and providing information on abortion as a risk factor for breast cancer.

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