British Doctors: Tell Women No Abortion-Breast Cancer Link

International   |   Steven Ertelt   |   Feb 22, 2011   |   12:16PM   |   London, England

A British doctors group has prepared new preliminary guidelines saying women should be told there is no link between abortion and breast cancer. That’s not going over well with an organization that educates women about the link.

The Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) has released new guidelines on The Care of Women Requesting Induced Abortion that say, “Women should be informed that induced abortion is not associated with an increase in breast cancer.”

The RCOG’s guidelines cite a review that says, “Failure to provide this information is a direct threat to maternal autonomy, diminishing a woman’s ability to give informed consent.”

Malec, president of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer says the guidelines make it appear the British doctors are “putting their wallets ahead of their patients’ health much like tobacco executives.”

“Do they read standard medical texts at the RCOG?” she told “Increased childbearing, starting at a younger age, and increased duration of breastfeeding sharply reduce breast cancer risk. The woman choosing abortion has a greater risk than the one choosing to give birth. The loss of the protective effect is only one of three breast cancer risks associated with induced abortion.”

“Two Americans and three Australians have successfully sued their doctors for failing to warn about the risks of breast cancer and emotional harm,” said Malec. “It would serve them right at the RCOG to be sued for malpractice.”

Professor Joel Brind, an endocrinologist at Baruch College in New York, worked with several scientists on a 1996 paper published in the Journal of Epidemiol Community Health showing a “30% greater chance of developing breast cancer” for women who have induced abortions. He’s also noted that abortion has resulted in at least 300,000 cases of breast cancer causing a woman’s death in the United States since the Supreme Court allowed virtually unlimited abortion in its 1973 case.

Dozens of other studies have shown the abortion-breast cancer link and, during the last 22 months alone, four epidemiological studies and one review reported an abortion-breast cancer link. One study included National Cancer Institute branch chief Louise Brinton as co-author.

“We count nearly 50 published epidemiological studies since 1957 reporting a link. Biological and experimental studies also support it,” Malec notes.

Despite the effort to hide the abortion-breast cancer link the RCOG guidelines acknowledge a “small increase in risk of subsequent preterm birth, which increases with the number of abortions.” But Canadian researcher Brent Rooney says that is minimizing the abortion-preterm birth link and he called the RCOG’s use of the word, “small,” “the language of cover-up.”

In August, Dr. Jay Iams, a professor and vice chairman of the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Ohio State University wrote a report on caring for women prior to pre-term birth in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Iams wrote, “Contrary to common belief, population-based studies have found that elective pregnancy terminations in the first and second trimesters are associated with a very small but apparently real increase in the risk of subsequent spontaneous pre-term birth.”

In July 2006, a report from the National Academies of Science found  a first-trimester abortion, the most common abortion procedure, is linked to an increasing risk of premature birth. In the report is a list of “immutable medical risk factors associated with preterm birth” and “prior first-trimester abortion” is listed third among other risk factors that increase the risk of having a subsequent premature birth.

The IOM reported that premature births before 37 weeks gestation represent 12.5 percent of all U.S. births, a 30% increase since 1981. Abortion became legally accessible in 1973 and the number of abortions peaked in the early 1980s as it became more ingrained in society.

Meanwhile, the closing date on the new guidelines from RCOG is February 26 — the date by which health officials and researchers can submit their consultations on the guidelines.

International experts on the abortion-breast cancer link have submitted their consultations saying the guidelines are flawed. They include Brind, and Patrick Carroll, a statistician and actuary from Pension and Population Research Institute in London.