Iowa Woman Declines Gift From Group Denying Abortion-Breast Cancer Link

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   May 25, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Iowa Woman Declines Gift From Group Denying Abortion-Breast Cancer Link

by Paul Nowak Staff Writer
May 25, 2004

Davenport, IA ( — Joan Archer was planning to be among the first women to receive a new wig by the Quad Cities’ Susan B. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation affiliate.

However, at last week’s press conference announcing the new program to help underserved breast cancer patients in the local area, Archer returned her wig, and denounced the Foundation’s association with Planned Parenthood.

Citing the abortion-breast cancer link, Archer said the Komen foundation, which organizes the annual Race for the Cure, should have no connection with the nation’s largest abortion business.

"It’s ironic that a foundation that people work hard for and give money to in order to fight breast cancer would give money to an organization that provides services that increase the risk of breast cancer," Archer told

Archer said she was referred to the Komen Foundation’s affiliate for a new wig by the hospital where she was receiving chemotherapy. She was asked to appear at a press conference to promote the program, which provided her with a voucher for a new wig since her insurance did not cover it.

She agreed to attend the news conference. But Archer thought she recalled hearing of a connection between the Komen Foundation and the abortion industry, so she researched the organizations.

Archer found "massive amounts of info" connecting the two, much from their own websites. As a pro-life advocate, she could not in good conscience promote the Komen Foundation.

"I’m glad I found the information before the conference," Archer said. "Had I found out after, I would have been sick. I would have felt duped."

Archer also noted that the Komen Foundation’s founder, Nancy Brinker, sits on the advisory council for Planned Parenthood of North Texas.

Quad City Komen Foundation affiliate officials said Archer referred to a grant given to the Muscatine County Planned Parenthood facility, for which the funds were to be used specifically for a breast and cervical cancer early detection program.

The local affiliate for the Breast Cancer Foundation also gave money to support the Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection Program in Muscatine County, a Center for Disease Control Program administered in that county by Planned Parenthood.

As for the abortion-breast cancer link, Judy McFarlin, Race for the Cure co-chairman, said "At this point in time we have not received any documented information" regarding the link.

"This is a patently dishonest statement," said Karen Malec, president of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer. "Komen can’t dodge the fact that any woman who aborts all pregnancies will be childless and unable to breastfeed her deceased [babies]. Childnessness is well-recognized as a factor that significantly increases a woman’s risk for the disease. Moreover, many studies reveal that women who do little or no breastfeeding are at increased risk."

"The cancer establishment agrees that the earlier a woman has a first full term pregnancy, the lower her risk for the disease," Malec added. "The woman who aborts the first of several pregnancies is in the unfortunate position of having increased her risk significantly."

Archer said that McFarlin invited her to write a letter detailing her objections to the Foundation’s activities, which she would share with the organization’s directors.

Of 37 worldwide studies reviewing the possibility of a link between abortion and breast cancer, 28 reported that it exists. The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, the National Physicians Center for Family Resources, Catholic Medical Association, 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.

A recent Oxford University study cited in the new language is among a few that have denounced the abortion-breast cancer link. However, Oxford did not conduct an actual study but simply reviewed other studies that had been conducted previously, and discounted some results because they assumed women who had breast cancer were less likely to lie about prior abortions than healthy women.

The national Susan B. Komen Foundation’s website regurgitates the language of the Oxford researchers in order for it to tell visitors that "there is no link."

ACTION: Contact Judy McFarlin, director of Cancer Program at Genesis Medical Program, 1401 W Central Park, Davenport, IA 52804, 563-421-1910 (phone), [email protected]