Misleading report from Congress

Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer Condemns Congressman Henry Waxman, Minority Staff of Committee on Government Reform

The Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer condemns Congressman Henry Waxman and Congressmen on the Minority Staff of the Committee on Government Reform for publishing their misleading report, "Politics and Science in the Bush Administration." 1 The report falsely accuses the administration of perverting science for political ends, but Waxman's purpose is to continue the government's 46-year cover-up of the abortion-breast cancer (ABC) research.

Karen Malec, president of the women's organization, said  "Henry Waxman and his (overwhelmingly) male colleagues undoubtedly have their hands in the pockets of the abortion industry.  They're running scared because science isn't on their side.  Scientists can't disprove the biological explanation for an ABC link, and five medical organizations recognize a causal relationship. 2 That's why they collaborated behind the scenes to ensure that no comprehensive review and debate on the research would take place at the National Cancer Institute's (NCI) workshop in February."

In 1999, the NCI declared there was no proof of an ABC link, although 26 out of 32 studies reported risk elevations and the agency paid for at least part of most of the American research.  Its website included this lie: "The scientific rationale for an association between abortion and breast cancer is based on limited experimental data in rats and is not consistent with human data."

The agency's March 6, 2002 web page included two more lies which: confused the effects of miscarriage and abortion and alleged that researchers found evidence of report bias. 3 4  A medical group issued a fact sheet revealing that the web page was non-factual, and it was subsequently removed from the website. 5  Waxman's group wrote to Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson on October 21 demanding the re-posting of the erroneous web page. 6

"It's the height of hypocrisy for Waxman group to accuse others of having tampered with science," observed Mrs. Malec.

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.

  • 1. Members of the Minority Staff for the Committee on Government Reform includes U.S. Representatives Henry A. Waxman (D-CA), Tom Lantos (D-CA), Major R. Owens (D-NY), Towns (D-NY), Paul E. Kanjorski (D-PA), Bernard Sanders (I-VT), Carolyn B. Maloney (D-NY), Elijah E. Cummings (D-MD), Dennis J. Kucinich (D-OH),  Danny K. Davis (D-IL), John F. Tierney (D-MA), Wm. Lacy Clay (D-MO), Diane E. Watson (D-CA), Stephen F. Lynch (D-MA), Chris Van Hollen (D-MD), Linda T. Sanchez (D-CA), C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (D-MD), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), Jim Cooper (D-TN),  Chris Bell (D-TX)
  • 2. National Physicians Center for Family Resources, Catholic Medical Association, Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, Polycarp Research Institute, Breast Cancer Prevention Institute.
  • 3. The NCI's March 6, 2002 web page said, "The relationship between abortion and breast cancer has been the subject of extensive research. The current body of scientific evidence suggests that women who have had either induced or spontaneous abortions have the same risk as other women for developing breast cancer. Until the mid-1990s, results from studies of breast cancer and induced or spontaneous abortion were inconsistent. Some investigators reported an increase in risk, typically from interview studies of several hundred breast cancer patients compared to other women. Other studies found no evidence of increased risk." The NCI used the phrase "spontaneous and induced abortions" six times but never used the term "miscarriage."  The agency's purpose was to confuse the two events in order to lead women to falsely believe that the effects of abortion and miscarriage on their risk for breast cancer were one in the same.
  • 4. The NCI's March 6, 2002 web page said, "Most of the early studies necessarily relied on self-reports of induced abortion, which have been shown to differ between breast cancer patients and other women."  The NCI identified the study, Tang et al. 2000, to support its statement.  However, Tang et al. said in their abstract, "The authors data do not suggest that controls are more reluctant to report a history of induced abortion than are women with breast cancer." [Tang et al, Case-control differences in the reliability of reporting a history of induced abortion, Am J Epidemiol (2000) 151:1139-43]
  • 5. National Cancer Institute Fact Sheet Analysis, The Abortion-Breast Cancer Connection (ABC Link), National Physicians Center for Family Resources, April 2002.
  • 6. Letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson on October 21, 2002 from U.S. Representatives Henry Waxman, Sherrod Brown, Nita Lowey, Diane Watson, Edolphus Towns, William Lacy Clay, Tom Allen, Rosa DeLauro, Bernard Sanders, Carolyn Maloney, Elijah Cummings, Dennis Kucinich.