Is Breast Cancer Linked To Abortion?
"Let's not cloud the issue by using breast cancer research as a tool in a political agenda..."
There have been more than 40 reports of studies examining the link between breast cancer and abortion. The studies are pretty evenly divided between finding a link and finding no connection.
Why are the studies finding opposite results? Could it be that the reserchers who are doing the studies are pushing the pro-life or pro-choice arguments? Can it be that abortion somehow does cause breast cancer?
Let's look at the facts:
The earlier you have children and the more children you have - the lower your risk of breast cancer. In many cases, having an abortion delays having a first child.
Are there any socio-economic differences between women who opt for abortion and those who carry to term? Many studies have shown a link between the economic group a woman belongs to and her risk of breast cancer.
Do women who have had an abortion then switch to another method of birth control... like the pill - which carries its own breast cancer risks?
The question that needs to be raised is whether the abortion procedure itself causes breast cancer or other - unidentified - risk factors are at work. The fact that half of the studies show no link does lead to the suspicion that there is something besides abortion raising the breast cancer risk of women after they have an abortion.
To use the fear of breast cancer as a tactic to talk women out of having abortions is cruel.
Statistics and research have a good use and if properly carried out and analyzed, can add much to the knowledge of what causes of breast cancer. Let's not cloud the issue by using breast cancer research as a tool in a political agenda.
Pro-choice advocates deny that any studies exist to back up the association of breast cancer and abortion. Pro-life groups ignore the studies that don't find a link. Women have the right to make informed decisions regarding their health care without being manipulated.
As it stands now, there is not enough evidence to say that breast cancer is a side effect of having an abortion any more than it is a side effect of choosing not to have children in your teens or twenties.
Of course, if a woman becomes pregnant in her late teens or early twenties and carries to term, she will lower her breast cancer risk. She will also be a young mother with all the side effects of that choice. You won't hear any group crusading for women to start families in their teens to prevent breast cancer.
There are plenty of good reasons not to opt for an abortion. Fear of breast cancer should not be thrown into the mix.
The table of studies that was used can be found here:
Elsewhere on the Web:
Abortion breast cancer link
Abortion, Miscarriage, and Breast Cancer Risk
Abortion and Breast Cancer : The Unproven Link
Abortion, Breast Cancer, and Ideology
September 9 , 2002
Last Updated August 1, 2006