Harvard Study on Abortion-Breast Cancer Link Seriously Flawed

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Apr 23, 2007   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

Harvard Study on Abortion-Breast Cancer Link Seriously Flawed Email this article
Printer friendly page

by Steven Ertelt
LifeNews.com Editor
April 23
, 2007

Boston, MA (LifeNews.com) — A new survey conducted by Harvard researchers on the link between abortion and breast cancer concludes that there is no link. However, further analysis shows they did not allow enough time for the possible onset of breast cancer following the women’s abortions thus skewing their data.

Published in the April 23 issue of Archives of Internal Medicine, a JAMA journal, the researchers say that neither induced abortion nor spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) appears to be associated with breast cancer risk in premenopausal women.

Michels and her associates at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health followed women over a period of 10 years and asked them about whether they had abortions or miscarriages during that time.

But critics say the results are flawed because the researchers did not allow enough time following the abortion for the potential cancer to develop.

Joel Brind, president of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, told LifeNews.com that "This isn’t the first time that Harvard Nurses Study researchers [8] have produced the wrong epidemiological results."

"They were wrong about combined hormone replacement therapy reducing the risk of heart attack and stroke, and they’re wrong about abortion," he said.

Brind, a professor at New York’s Baruch College, pointed out that breast cancer cases have risen 40 percent since abortion was made virtually unlimited in the 1973 Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade.

He said researchers should have analyzed only the abortions that occurred early in the study, allowing enough time after the abortion to see if breast cancer developed

In 1996, Brind and other researchers conducted analysis of all the major studies done in the field to that time.

They concluded that women who had an abortion before their first term child had a 50% increased risk of developing breast cancer while women who had an abortion after their first child sustained a 30% increased risk.

"I see no reason why this study would change my opinion that having an abortion increases the risk about 30% over not having gotten pregnant in the first place," Brind told the New York Times in response to the study.

“I believe also that this particular study, were the data properly handled and reported, would have come up with a result in agreement with that," he added.

A few years ago, the British Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists confirmed Brind’s study and said it contained no major flaws or errors.

Meanwhile, Karen Malec of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, criticized the results as well.

"We call on journalists to challenge Michels et al. to conduct a proper study that allows sufficient follow-up time between exposure to abortion and the development of breast cancer," she said in a statement given to LifeNews.com.

Malec also criticized the study as political because it received funding from the National Cancer Institute, which has discounted the abortion breast cancer link because of the politics of abortion and convened one-sided panels to try to disprove it.

"So why has the NCI continued to spend millions of dollars to fund studies on the abortion-cancer link?" asked Malec. "Clearly, its scientists must either suspect a link or know that it exists."

There are 17 statistically significant studies that show a link between abortion and breast cancer, 8 of which were conducted in the United State. It is estimated that upwards of 10,000 cases of breast cancer each year presently, and up to over 25,000 per year in twenty or thirty years hence, are or will be attributable to induced abortion.

Eve Sanchez Silver, a former Susan G. Komen medical research analyst and Hispanic outreach director, confirms the abortion-breast cancer link.

Silver explained that the breast is an organ that is not mature at birth and does not become fully mature until after 32 weeks of pregnancy.

As a result of that state of development, interruption of pregnancy via an abortion before 32 weeks leaves breast cells exposed to estrogen, which is highly carcinogenic.

Related web site:
Eve Sanchez Silver – https://stopabortionbreastcancer.org
National Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer – https://www.abortionbreastcancer.com