Researcher Discusses Latest Review of Abortion-Breast Cancer Link

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Dec 21, 2005   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Researcher Discusses Latest Review of Abortion-Breast Cancer Link Email this article
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by Steven Ertelt Editor
December 21, 2005

Washington, DC ( — Earlier this month, reported on a new review of recent research claiming the abortion-breast cancer link does not exist. In his study, Dr. Joel Brind, Professor of Biology at Baruch College, reviewed 10 research reports and found they were using seriously flawed data to determine whether the link exists.

This week, Brind released more information about his review, which was published in the Winter edition of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons.

Brind conducted a “critical review of recent studies" and found that flawed methodologies marred the findings of data collected from China, France, Scotland, Sweden and elsewhere.

Brind believes that “reporting bias” makes retroactive data untrustworthy and he focused his attention here on prospective studies — such as research that queried women about their reproductive history prior to any diagnosis of breast cancer.

But even in these studies, Brind finds much to skew outcomes.

In several studies Brind notes a "cohort effect," the result of comparing "two essentially different populations: the younger one which has experienced most of the abortions, and the older one which has developed most of the breast cancers."

Brind also identifies many "misclassifications, typically of women whose abortions were not recorded in the available data. He also argues that follow-up times were too short to measure the long-term impact of abortion on the incidence of breast cancer — which, he notes, continues to increase.

Brind reasserts the conclusion of his 1996 "meta-analysis" of the abortion-breast cancer link. The research correlation holds and "induced abortion is indeed a risk factor for breast cancer, despite the strong and pervasive bias in recent literature," asserting the safety of abortion.

In his 1996 analysis of all abortion-breast cancer studies, he found that 18 out of 23 statistically significant studies reported women who have had an abortion show a higher incidence of breast cancer.

"These recent studies therefore do not invalidate the large body of previously published studies that established induced abortion as a risk factor for breast cancer," Brind concludes.