CBS News Accused of Biased Reporting on Abortion-Breast Cancer Link

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 2, 2004   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

CBS News Accused of Biased Reporting on Abortion-Breast Cancer Link Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 2, 2004

New York, NY ( — CBS News has been the subject of much criticism for various cases of media bias and disinformation this year. Now, they’re coming under fire from women who educate about the link between induced abortion and breast cancer.

Jeanette Joyce is a breast cancer survivor and a woman who has had an abortion. She was interviewed by CBS News for a segment on the abortion-breast cancer link debate that aired on Thanksgiving evening.

However, the network used only a few second blurb from the interview it conducted with Joyce. It also left all of a 20 minute interview with Karen Malec, president of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, on the cutting room floor.

"None of Karen’s 20 minute interview was included," Joyce said. "They cut everything but two lines out of my 20 minute interview."

"We approached this invitation from CBS with hope that someone truly wanted to give the other side equal time," Joyce explained. "How disappointing when the actual story revolved around ‘how some states are trying to keep women from getting one (an abortion).’"

CBS News also did not mention Joyce’s credentials — she is a medical educator, lecturer, and a registered mammography technologist who has spent many years writing and researching about breast imaging.

Malec said CBS identified Joyce only as a cancer survivor named "Jeanette" who’d had an abortion and falsely claimed she didn’t want her last named used.

Calls from to CBS News for comment were not returned.

Malec also said the CBS News report was ironic because it cited a politicized decision by the National Cancer Institute claming no abortion-breast cancer link exists as authoritative.

"Ironically, the same CBS program featured another story challenging the government’s credibility as a reliable source of health information because its scientists moonlight as consultants for pharmaceutical companies," Malec explained.

CBS News also presented the medical debate on the topic in a manner assuming that the medical community unanimously believes no link exists.

However, six organizations of medical professionals say abortion increases the risk of contracting breast cancer. A seventh, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, issued a statement in November 2003 calling for "full disclosure" of a "highly plausible link."

"When asked if they would protect women’s health by alerting women to these facts, CBS declined to comment," Malec said.

Joyce urges pro-life advocates to speak up more frequently on the abortion-breast cancer link and says the science backs up the contention that a link exists.

"We have the research studies to back up the statistics. We have the biology to explain why induced abortion increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer," Joyce said.

She also said groups should focus on getting women accurate information before an abortion.

"Women must demand informed consent at the time of an abortion which will reveal the evidence confirming a link between abortion and breast cancer," Joyce said.

"No, we cannot stop women from getting abortions. However, we can save these women’s lives by informing them of their risk," Joyce concluded.

Related web sites:
Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer –