Georgia Legislature Delays Vote on Abortion Bill Over Breast Cancer

State   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 8, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Georgia Legislature Delays Vote on Abortion Bill Over Breast Cancer Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
February 8, 2005

Atlanta, GA ( — Lawmakers in the Georgia state legislature are putting the brakes on voting for legislation that requires abortion businesses to give women information about abortion’s risks and alternatives. They want to rework a section of the bill that asks women be told that abortion can increase the chance of contracting breast cancer.

The state Senate had been expected to vote on the measure this week.

The delay came after abortion advocates claimed no such link between abortion and breast cancer exists.

Rep. Michelle Henson of DeKalb County claimed the bill is "full of misinformation such as the information that [abortion] will case breast cancer, which the reports are coming back that it will not."

Pro-life Republican Sen. Eric Johnson told WXIA-TV, “There’s concern even among pro-life supporters indicating there is a scientific link between abortion and breast cancer maybe going too far."

However, Karen Malec of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer notes that 28 studies out of 37 worldwide all show a greater risk of breast cancer among women who undergo abortions.

Malec says the abortion-breast cancer risk is particularly high for teenagers.

"According to research in 1994 by Janet Daling and her colleagues at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Center, teenagers with a family history of the disease who procure abortions before age 18 have an incalculably high breast cancer risk," Malec explained.

Several medical groups acknowledge the link, including the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Polycarp Research Institute, and Breast Cancer Prevention Institute.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons called on doctors in 2003 to fully disclose a "highly plausible" relationship between abortion and the disease.

Pro-life advocate Karen LaBarr and hundreds of other pro-life Georgians filled the hallways of the capitol Tuesday for a pro-life lobbying event. They expected a vote on the bill, but will have to wait.

Still, pro-life groups believe the legislation will pass and will lead to a reduction in abortions as has happened in other states.

“We’ve been beating our heads against the wall for a long time but now that the leadership of the House and Senate has changed, now the legislators are acting on what the majority of Georgians believe," LaBarr told WXIA-TV.

LaBarr decried the delay and said it was "similar to the tobacco issue back in the ‘60s where you had the moneyed interests against any revelation of the damage that tobacco could do."

Members of the Senate Health and Human Services Committee backed the abortion information measure, Senate Bill 77, sponsored by Sen. Renee Unterman, on a 5-1 vote earlier this month.

Related web sites:

Georgia Right to Life –
Georgia State Legislature –
Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer –