New Study on Abortion-Breast Cancer Link Criticized for Data, Method Flaws
by Steven Ertelt
June 11, 2008
Washington, DC (LifeNews.com) — A leading breast cancer researcher and a woman’s advocate are both criticizing a new study on the link between abortion and breast cancer. They say the study, published in a recent issue of Contraception magazine and claiming the link doesn’t exist, contains flawed data and methodology.
Katherine DeLellis Henderson and colleagues at the City of Hope Comprehensive Cancer Center in California led the study and published their findings in the June issue of the medical magazine.
For this study, the researchers relied on data from the ongoing California Teachers Study, a prospective study of current and former public school teachers or administrators who are with the California State Teachers Retirement System.
They eventually found 3,324 women from the CTS study diagnosed with incident breast cancer up to 2004.
Using a statistical tool known as Cox multivariable regression, they found no statistically significant link between any measure of incomplete pregnancy and breast cancer risk.
But Joel Brind, Ph.D., president of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute and a professor at Baruch College in New York, told LifeNews.com of the study’s serious flaws which caused an underestimation of the breast cancer risk in association with abortion.
He said nearly one in five women with breast cancer in the study were counted as not having breast cancer and he said researchers omitted raw data showing how many controls had induced abortions, but not cancer.
Brind also said researchers pretended to have evidence of the lack of a loss of the protective effect of a full term pregnancy among aborted women, but, by using the wrong comparison group (i.e., comparing childless women with abortion to those who had never been pregnant), they did not show any evidence of such an effect.
"This fraudulent study provides further strong evidence of the continuing, willful misrepresentation by prominent scientists of the well-established link between abortion and breast cancer," Brind told LifeNews.com.
Meanwhile, Karen Malec, president of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, an educational group, told LifeNews.com that another lead author, Dr. Leslie Bernstein, has a history of attacking the abortion-breast cancer link.
Malec told LifeNews.com that Bernstein said in 2003 that, "I don’t want the issue relating to induced abortion to breast cancer risk to be part of the mix of the discussion of induced abortion, its legality, its continued availability."
With her political views against abortion and against the link, Malec said Bernstein biased the research.
"DeLellis Henderson and her colleagues need to either learn how to do a proper study or get a conscience and stop playing politics with women’s lives," Malec asserted. "Protecting Big Abortion from a tsunami of medical malpractice lawsuits isn’t a priority."