Minnesota Criticized for Removing Abortion-Breast Cancer Link Info
by Paul Nowak
LifeNews.com Staff Writer
April 21, 2004
St. Paul, MN (LifeNews.com) — The Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer has publicly reprimanded Minnesota Governor Pawlenty and Health Department Commissioner Dianne Mandernach for agreeing to remove language in women’s right to know literature that recognized a link between abortion and breast cancer.
"The governor has lost his political courage," said the Coalition’s president Karen Malec in a statement. "Consequently, ‘pro-choice’ girls and women will die. It’s deplorable there’s so little concern for abortion-minded children."
The Minnesota Health Department website, which had earlier given equal weight to studies that confirmed or denied a link, and suggested that the issue needed further study, now reads:
“Findings from earlier studies suggested there was an increased risk of breast cancer among women who had an abortion. In March 2003 the National Cancer Institute (NCI) released a consensus report finding no link between abortion and breast cancer. An additional report issued in March 2004 by a cancer research group at Oxford University also indicated there is no link between abortion and breast cancer.”
But the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer pointed out that the Oxford study relies on faulty data.
An team of Oxford researchers, led by Valerie Beral, published a recent study in the British journal Lancet, which claimed no link between abortion and breast cancer. The publication of this new report apparently led to the removal of the abortion-breast cancer warning on the Minnesota Department of Health’s website.
Malec pointed out that although the Oxford team, which merely reviewed already conducted studies and preformed no new research, had dismissed 10 of 16 published studies with an unscientific method — stating that healthy women were more likely to have lied on such studies about previous abortions than women diagnosed with breast cancer.
Still, the Oxford study found an 11 percent risk elevation in its retrospective research, noted Malec. Most of the studies that were included in the report were unpublished, and thus never peer-reviewed, studies.
Malec explained that the consensus on how abortion leads to an increased risk of breast cancer is twofold. Increased childbearing, and breastfeeding, particularly early in life, has been found to reduce one’s risk of breast cancer, and a pregnancy carried 32 weeks is the only way to mature breast-cells formed during early pregnancy into milk-producing and cancer-resistant tissue.
“Even Beral’s team determined that increased childbearing and breastfeeding would reduce breast cancer rates by one-half,” added the Coalition’s statement.
The Coalition and the Oxford study are not the only ones that found an increased risk of breast cancer following abortion. The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, the National Physicians Center for Family Resources, the Catholic Medical Association, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Polycarp Research Institute, and the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute have all acknowledged a link between abortion and an increased risk for breast cancer.
"The teen who obtains an abortion today will be wearing pink ribbons and marching in cancer walks in years to come," predicted Malec. "The governor calls himself ‘pro-life,’ but he’s not pro-life for women."
The web site and the pamphlet were developed by the Health Department to comply with a new "Right to Know" law requiring the department to publish information about abortion risks and abortion alternatives for women considering abortion.
"The spirit of the Woman’s Right to Know law is to inform women of all the facts about abortion risks, complications and alternatives before they make their decision whether to undergo the abortion procedure," said Scott Fischbach, Executive Director of Minnesota Citizens for Life.
"The pro-abortion operatives in the Minnesota Department of Health have never supported the law. Extremists within the department have spent the last year trying to dismantle the Woman’s Right to Know law’s abortion/breast cancer information, instead of helping women understand the substantial risks that abortions could pose to their health."
Similar laws in other states have reduced the abortion rate by as much as one-third.