AlterNet Misleads Women, Says Abortion Not Linked to Breast Cancer, Infertility

National   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Jan 1, 2009   |   9:00AM   |   WASHINGTON, DC

AlterNet Misleads Women, Says Abortion Not Linked to Breast Cancer, Infertility

by Steven Ertelt Editor
June 4
, 2010

Washington, DC ( — In a new hit piece the liberal political web site AlterNet posted against pregnancy centers, they are accused of giving women inaccurate information about abortion and its link to breast cancer and infertility. However, AlterNet is apparently not up on the latest research confirming both links as true.

"Under the dubious free speech protection, CPCs are going to disgusting lengths to scare women out of seeking abortions — with the help of federal and state funding," AlterNet wrote.

The report featured an interview with a California NARAL operative who led an "investigation" of pregnancy centers — though she failed to record or video any examples of the claims she provided the web site.

"NARAL volunteers reported being told that abortion can lead to breast cancer, infertility and mental health problems," AlterNet complains. "NARAL’s goal isn’t to shut CPCs down; it’s to get them to be more upfront about the type of information or services they offer."

AlterNet may want to heed those words.

Just this year, a study called abortion a "known risk factor" for breast cancer and cited a prior study conducted by the prestigious Janet Daling group of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle.

Daling and her colleagues showed between a 20 and 50 percent increased breast cancer risk for women having abortions compare to those who carried their pregnancies to term.

The newer study, conducted by Jessica Dolle, appears in the April, 2009 issue of the epidemiology journal Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention.

As Dr. Joel Brind, a prominent breast cancer researcher, says, "what was striking was the way in which the finding of a significant ABC link was characterized."

"Specifically, abortion appears in the data table which lists the associations found for ‘known and suspected risk factors,’" he explains. "In the text, the effect of the significant risk factors, including induced abortion, were described as ‘consistent with the effects observed in previous studies on younger women.’"

Last year, studies from Turkey and China also reported statistically significant risk increases for women who had abortions.

Dr. Vahit Ozmen and his colleagues at the Istanbul Medical Faculty at Istanbul University and Magee-Women’s hospital in Pittsburgh conducted a retrospective study.

They published their findings in the April 2009 issue of the World Journal of Surgical Oncology and examined women who, between January 2000 and December 2006, were admitted to clinics of Istanbul Medical Faculty for examination.

The researchers said that their findings showed abortion was "significantly associated with increased breast cancer risk."

"Breast cancer risk was found to be increased in women with … induced abortion (95% confidence interval)" and an age above 35 years-old at the time of a first live birth. "However, decreased breast cancer risk was associated with … presence of spontaneous abortion."

"Our study revealed that spontaneous abortion was associated with the decreased risk of breast cancer in univariate analysis whereas induced abortion was associated with increased breast cancer risk in both univariate and multivariable analyses," they wrote.

As far as infertility is concerned, abortion has been documented in a link with infertility in nations across the globe.

The 2009 Investigative Report on the Current State of Infertility in China, released at the China International Summit Forum on Infertility in August, 2009, found, in a survey of 18,000 people, seeking treatment for infertility in Beijing, that 10 percent had been trying to conceive for a year since getting married, 15 percent had been trying for two years and 25 percent for 10 years.

For women, the leading cause of infertility is the blockage of the fallopian tubes, mostly induced by abortions, the report said.

Research shows that abortion can lead to infertility by increasing the risk of miscarriages.

A 1986 report in the medical journal Epidemiology reveals women with a history of abortion have a greater risk of fetal loss than women who had no previous abortions. Women with two prior pregnancies carried to term and no abortions had the lowest risk, while women with two prior abortions had the highest risk.

Also, a 1991 British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology article revealed that women with a history of abortion had a 1.5-1.7 times higher risk of ectopic pregnancy than women who had previously carried a pregnancy to term.

According to the Elliot Institute, an Illinois group that studies abortion’s effects on women, about three to five percent of women who get abortions are left inadvertently sterile as a result of an abortion. The risk of sterility is even greater for women who are infected with a venereal disease at the time of the abortion.

Even Planned Parenthood of Australia has acknowledged the future risk of problem pregnancies caused by abortion.

Its web site includes consent forms that list 12 serious complications from a first trimester abortion.

It says that some complications include: "infections … a tear in the cervix that may require stitches … incompetent cervix/stenosed cervix (too tight or too loose cervix which may impair future fertility), Asherman’s syndrome (cessation of periods and adhesions in uterus that may impair future fertility), depression or mood disturbance, suicide. …"

The risk of post-abortion problems in future pregnancy is also seen in countries with abnormally high abortion rates, such as Russia and Vietnam.

Vladimir Serov, the deputy director of the Russian Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Perinatology Center at the Russian Academy of Medical Sciences, told the Russian media source Regnum that 120,000 women are injured each year from legal abortions.

He said numerous Russian women suffer from sterility, endometriosis and other problems following abortions.

This has led to a significant problem of premature births and Serov said Russian women typically have 160,000 miscarriages a year and there are 60,000 premature births annually.

Vietnam is experiencing high rates of infertility among women there.

Dr. Le Thi Phuong Lan, deputy director of the Central Hospital for Obstetrics and Gynaecology’s Reproductive Assistance Centre, has noticed the recent infertility problems. He said that a survey conducted by Tu Du Hospital in Ho Chi Minh City found that women who had abortions were 5.2 percent more likely to suffer from infertility.


Sign Up for Free Pro-Life News From

Daily Pro-Life News Report Twice-Weekly Pro-Life
News Report
Receive a free daily email report from with the latest pro-life news stories on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here. Receive a free twice-weekly email report with the latest pro-life news headlines on abortion, euthanasia and stem cell research. Sign up here.