National Cancer Institute: Still Guilty of Scientific Misconduct

The Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer reported today that the National Cancer Institute (NCI) has published new statements about research examining the relationship between abortion and breast cancer on a web page posted November 25, 2002. The page is entitled "Early Reproductive Events and Breast Cancer."

This action comes after serious accusations of scientific misconduct were leveled at the agency during a four year period by more than two dozen members of Congress and six medical experts, including Congressman Dave Weldon, M.D. and former Congressman Tom Coburn, M.D. 1

After reviewing the NCI’s new statements, Karen Malec, president of the women’s organization, commented that:

"The NCI’s failure to identify abortion among its list of risk factors for breast cancer and its continued omission of critical facts represent a form of gross scientific misconduct designed to mislead women about the safety of abortion. The agency continues to conceal the evidence that connects the delayed first full term pregnancy effect with abortion, an effect that has been universally recognized by medical experts since 1970. 2 Moreover, the biological and epidemiological evidence implicating abortion as an independent risk factor for breast cancer is staggering, but the anti-information NCI erroneously asserts that ‘the data have been inconsistent.’ What risk factor, other than abortion, could have as much evidence amassed against it, but still be excluded from the NCI’s list of risk factors? Thousands of women will lose their lives because the NCI’s uncaring bureaucrats evidently lack political courage."

"It is heartening, however, that the spectacularly flawed study, Melbye et al. 1997, is not being used to disprove 29 studies reporting risk elevations," continued Mrs. Malec. 3 "It’s encouraging that the NCI did not mislead women by confusing the effects of miscarriage with that of induced abortion which creates the false impression that these different biological events are one in the same. The agency also dropped its blatant lie that the study, Tang et al. 2000, found evidence of report bias." 4

The lead author of the 1996 review and meta-analysis of the worldwide research 5, Joel Brind, Ph.D., reviewed the November web page and commented that, "It’s a step in the right direction, but it is clear that this is temporary until the agency convenes a workshop on this subject. It remains to be seen whether they will really put in information that is useful to the public about abortion and breast cancer."

Mrs. Malec concluded that, "The NCI’s long-standing practice of lying and omitting crucial pieces of information makes it crystal-clear that women can’t rely on the agency’s self-interested bureaucrats, the nation’s politicians and cancer organizations to protect their lives. This barefaced scientific misconduct will not stop until women demand to be told the truth. Women must become activists in order stop the lies and protect their health, as well as the health of their sisters and daughters."

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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