British Researcher Says Abortion Increases U.K. Breast Cancer Rates

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 9, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

British Researcher Says Abortion Increases U.K. Breast Cancer Rates Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 9, 2005

Minneapolis, MN ( — British researcher Patrick Carroll plans a presentation at the Wednesday meeting of the American Statistical Association, the largest gathering of statisticians in North America. Carroll’s research reveals abortion is the best predictor of three British breast cancer trends.

Upper class women in Britain are more likely to have an abortion or to put off a first pregnancy, which lowers the breast cancer rate, because of educational or career concerns. Carroll, who directs the Pensions and Population Research Institute in London, says those choices have caused that group of women to have higher breast cancer rates.

Carroll also says variations in breast cancer rates among regions of the U.K. be explained by differences in abortion rates.

Breast cancer rates are greatest in the South East (116 per 100,000) where abortion rates are higher than in other regions. Breast cancer incidence is lowest in Ireland (97 per 100,000) where abortion is prohibited.

Meanwhile, Carroll points to the legalization of abortion in the U.K. in 1967 as the beginning of a dramatic rise in the incidence of breast cancer.

Breast cancer rates increased approximately 70% between 1971 and 2002 in Britain as abortion became prevalent. Breast cancer incidence for women aged 50-54 in successive birth cohorts is highly correlated with abortion incidence, and is less highly correlated with other factors, Carroll explains.

Karen Malec, president of the U.S.-based Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer says "Carroll’s research is significant because he used national data reporting breast cancers and abortions."

As a result, his analysis is free of any "recall bias" that abortion advocates claim cloud some previous studies on abortion and breast cancer.

Related web sites:
Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer –