Glamour Magazine Criticized for Denying Abortion-Breast Cancer Link

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Aug 18, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Glamour Magazine Criticized for Denying Abortion-Breast Cancer Link Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
August 18, 2005

New York, NY ( — Glamour magazine, a top women’s journal, is coming under fire for dismissing the link between abortion and breast cancer. An article appearing in the August issue of the magazine claims the link has been "disproved" despite an overwhelming majority of studies showing induced abortion significantly raises a woman’s breast cancer risk.

But Karen Malec, president of a women’s group, the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, says evidence of the link between abortion and breast cancer is alive and well.

"If the link was ‘disproved,’ why did British researcher Patrick Carroll present new research to the Joint Statistical Meetings in Minneapolis on August 10 showing abortion to be the ‘best predictor of British breast cancer trends.’"

"We challenge Glamour to find just one scientist who has disproved the biological explanation for the link," Malec said. "No scientist dares to challenge the explanation because it makes good physiological sense."

The Glamour article, written by Susan Dominus, profiles why young adults are becoming increasingly pro-life. She speculates that part of the reason is because the pro-life movement has placed stronger emphasis on helping women and showing why abortion hurts women physically and emotionally.

"Whereas the loudest voices had previously been those of sign waving, even violent, clinic protesters, the pro-life community now positioned itself as the movement with women’s best interests at heart, characterizing abortion as violence against women and publicizing a link, since disproved, between abortion and breast cancer," Dominus writes.

However, most studies show the link exists.

Of the 41 studies which have been previously published, 29 show increased risk of breast cancer among women who have chosen abortion. According to the Breast Cancer Prevention Institution, some 16 of those studies are statistically significant.

The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons says the relationship is "highly plausible" and women may reconsider abortion if they are told the facts.

"The AAPS believes that patients have the right to give or withhold fully informed consent before undergoing medical treatment. This includes notification of potential adverse effects," says AAPS executive director Jane Orient, M.D.

In addition, the abortion breast cancer link prominently affects teenagers.

According to BCPI, a teenager who has an abortion between 9 and 24 weeks of pregnancy — when most are performed — has a 30% chance of developing breast cancer in her lifetime, compared with a 12.5% risk among all women.

If that same teenager also has a family history of breast cancer, the risk increases so much that one study showed all such women developed breast cancer by the age of 45.

"Glamour’s journalists have moral and professional obligations to retract their erroneous statement and inform readers that five medical groups and a bioethics group recognize the link," Malec concluded.

Related web sites:
Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer –
Breast Cancer Prevention Institute –
Association of American Physicians and Surgeons –