Warning wrongly removed from website

Women's Group Condemns Removal of Abortion-Cancer Warning by Louisiana Health Officials

The Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer condemns a decision by Louisiana health officials last week to remove a warning from the department's website informing women about the relationship between abortion and breast cancer.

Health department officials were intimidated by inquiries from an Associated Press (AP) reporter into the state's "Woman's Right to Know" booklet.  A report from the AP inaccurately claimed women were being "wrongly warned" about an abortion-breast cancer link. 1

The AP story said the National Cancer Institute and a Lancet review found no link. 2 However, the AP omitted important facts. Five medical groups recognized abortion as a cause of breast cancer at the time of the AP report. 3 A sixth group, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, issued a statement in 2003 calling on doctors to warn women of a "highly plausible" link.

The bioethics journal, Ethics and Medics, published an article this month identifying serious flaws in the Lancet review article, including statistical "manipulations," improper comparison groups, assumption of a flaw called "recall bias," and selection bias. 4

Scientists agree that delaying a first full term pregnancy, childlessness, having few children and little or no breastfeeding raise a woman's risk for the disease. Logically, abortion contributes to soaring breast cancer rates in these ways.

"Women would have the right to know if only one medical group recognized a link," argued Karen Malec, president of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer. "Apparently, Louisiana health officials lack political courage. How many women must die and how many teenagers will unknowingly risk their lives for an optional procedure before the public realizes that women are being financially exploited by the abortion, the pharmaceutical and the cancer fundraising industries?

"The AP has a moral duty to correct its report," declared 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. Laura Meckler, "Women wrongly warned cancer, abortion tied," Associated Press, November 9, 2004.
  • 2. Beral V, et al. Lancet 2004;363:1007-16.
  • 3. National Physicians Center for Family Resources, Catholic Medical Association, American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Polycarp Research Institute, Breast Cancer Prevention Institute.
  • 4. Lanfranchi A. The abortion-breast cancer link revisited. Ethics and Medics, November 2004.

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