Abortion Raises Breast Cancer Risk

Congressional Candidate Doug LaMalfa Was Right the First Time: Abortion Raises Breast Cancer Risk

Doug LaMalfa, a candidate for California’s first Congressional district, was right when he said on Monday, September 10, 2012 that women who have abortions are more likely to get cancer. 1 Unfortunately, LaMalfa retracted his statement on Tuesday, saying current research doesn’t support it. He cited the U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) and the American Cancer Society.

“LaMalfa should ask NCI branch chief Dr. Louise Brinton why her name is on a 2009 study that concluded induced abortion and oral contraceptives (the birth control pill) are risk factors for breast cancer,” suggested Karen Malec, president of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer. 2

“The study, led by Jessica Dolle, examined the link between oral contraceptives and the deadly triple-negative breast cancer. Dolle and Brinton’s team found a statistically significant 40% increased risk among women with induced abortions. When they designed their study, they included abortion and oral contraceptives among ‘known and suspected risk factors’.

“In the 2009 study, they used data from their team’s 1990s studies showing an abortion-breast cancer (ABC) link, but at the NCI’s political sham of a workshop in 2003, Brinton and the NCI had (falsely) claimed the data were flawed.” (See the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer’s 1-25-2010 press release with a link to a letter to President Obama and Congressional leaders requesting a Congressional investigation of the NCI.) 3

“Next, LaMalfa should quiz Dr. Leslie Bernstein, a leader/moderator of the 2003 workshop who told CancerPage.com journalist Rachel Lowe why she didn’t want women to know about the ABC link. Bernstein said:

“‘The biggest bang for the buck is the first birth, and the younger you are, the better off you are. I would never be a proponent of going around and telling them that having babies is the way to reduce your risk....I don't want the issue relating to induced abortion to breast cancer risk to be part of the mix of the discussion of induced abortion, its legality, its continued availability.’ 4

“Finally, LaMalfa should ask Dr. Brinton, the NCI and the American Cancer Society why their organizations (and medical texts) recognize the risk-reducing effects of increased childbearing, early first full term pregnancy and increased duration of breastfeeding, but they contradict themselves by claiming abortion does not raise risk.

”It’s not Doug LaMalfa’s fault that he is uninformed about the ABC link. Obviously, the NCI and the American Cancer Society have been lying to the American people since the first epidemiological study was published 55 years ago. One of the ways they confuse the public is by failing to reveal there are four ways abortion raises risk. Only one way is still contested (whether abortion leaves the breasts with more places for cancers to start), but 56 of 71 epidemiological studies and biological and animal research support that, too.” 5

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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