Huffington Post Blasted for Falsely Telling Women Abortion is Not Linked to Breast Cancer

National   |   Karen Malec   |   Aug 13, 2014   |   3:28PM   |   Washington, DC

The Huffington Post published an outrageous attack on the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer. It is clear that the abortion lobby is losing its equilibrium as a result of the work of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer; a 2014 scientific review of 72 studies by Angela Lanfranchi, MD, FACS and Patrick Fagan, Ph.D.; and a 2013 Chinese meta-analysis of 36 studies.[1,2]

The Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer challenges the Huffington Post’s experts to conduct a normal, public debate the abortion-breast cancer (ABC) link with our experts. If the newspaper can successfully demonstrate that abortion does not raise risk, then the Huffington Post’s editors can relish an opportunity to make us look foolish in a public debate, instead of relying on irrational writers, like Lara Hoffman, who can’t get their facts straight.

We expect the Huffington Post to duck the challenge, as has every other publication we’ve ever challenged, because surely they must know they’ll lose the debate. However, mainstream media are generally content to behave as snipers picking off millions of innocent women around the world.

picbreastcancer11Breast cancer survivor Lara Hoffman, who authored an article for the Huffington Post entitled, “No, abortion does not cause breast cancer,” demonstrated a reckless disregard for both women’s health and the truth about our organization, the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer.[3] She claims to have “put on (her) investigating hat,” but she cannot even accurately report the name of our organization, which she calls the Abortion/Breast Cancer Coalition. She falsely claimed we sell bumper stickers with the message, “Abortion causes breast cancer.” If she’d had the slightest desire to tell the truth, she would have done a little fact-checking. A simple Google search shows that our sole bumper stickers advertise our web address,

Second, she visited one page on our website discussing the biological reasons for the ABC link (which, by the way, critics do not challenge because it is physiologically correct). Because that single page out of hundreds on our website did not have citations, she argued:

“You’ll notice a couple of items missing from ABC’s link, such as hyperlinks to studies or just generally facts and science. If you click on something purporting to be scientific and it doesn’t list a single source, run, don’t walk, away from that website.”

Huffman either told an outright lie or she had her eyes closed when she visited our home page. There are two press releases posted there. The first press release contains links to four studies. The second press release contains 19 citations and links to 12 studies. Or how about our ABC Research page listing 73 studies? We publish many studies on our website; and our press releases and newsletters are widely known to contain numerous links to countless studies.

I am a 24-year colon cancer survivor trying to educate women about the best way to prevent breast cancer. Believe me, it’s far better to prevent breast cancer than it is to endure a cure for the disease – chemotherapy once a week for a year, two disfiguring surgeries, nausea and vomiting. The women who work here at the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer are trying to protect women’s lives, not stigmatize them.

Huffman, on the other hand, does not come across as one of those breast cancer survivors who wants to spare others from developing her disease. Her priority seems to be preserving the myth that abortion is “safe,” no matter how many millions of lives are lost. Is it really better to let impressionable American teenagers and poverty stricken women from undeveloped nations die for lack of knowledge of this risk, so that women with abortions won’t feel stigmatized?

Her view is comparable to that of Planned Parenthood Dr. Vanessa Cullins’ stated reason for keeping women in the dark about the link. She told Associated Press reporter Laura Meckler in 2004 that women shouldn’t be informed about the ABC link because it puts a “false guilt trip” on them.[4] (That’s strange. Doesn’t Planned Parenthood argue there’s no downside to abortion and that it doesn’t cause emotional harm?) If a woman feels guilty after having an abortion, that suggests a need for counseling. It’s bad social policy to endanger public health by covering up a risk factor simply because it makes some people “feel guilty.” Public health officials don’t do that for any other risk factor, perhaps because no other risk factor causes them to be subjected to the hysterics of people, like Lara Huffman.

Huffman ridiculously asked why we “elected breast cancer as the disease you supposedly get from having an abortion.” She should read Drs. Lanfranchi and Fagan’s scientific review of 72 epidemiological studies dating from 1957, which is featured on our home page. Seventy-two peer-reviewed studies dating from 1957 are not something anyone can make up.  They’re published in esteemed journals, i.e. British Journal of Cancer; Elsevier; International Journal of Epidemiology; Cancer Causes and Control; Journal of the National Cancer Institute; Cancer, Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention; Journal of the American Medical Association and Breast Cancer Research.

Huffman is predictably fond of the small minority of studies whose results are to her liking (because they report little or no risk elevation), but which have been demonstrated to be invalid in medical journals. The above-named scientific review critiques the studies that have been conducted, and it identifies the unethical methods that were used by the authors of invalid studies to achieve either a reduction of the risk or the elimination of it, i.e. failing to allow a minimum of eight to ten years for breast cancer to develop among study subjects after abortions took place. For some study subjects, there was as little as zero follow-up time. A detectable cancer doesn’t develop over night or even a year later.

It’s “funny” how Huffman weaseled out of the ABC link insofar as accepted risk factors for breast cancer (i.e. childlessness and delayed first full term pregnancy) are concerned. Huffman asserted, “That doesn’t mean having an abortion (spontaneous or elective) causes breast cancer,” Her argument is as illogical as arguing that a person, who falls off a boat without wearing a lifejacket and drowns, did not die because she wasn’t wearing a lifejacket. She died because she drowned.

While most first trimester miscarriages do not raise risk because they are abnormal pregnancies lacking a surge in pregnancy hormones and resulting breast growth, second trimester abortions do raise risk. Premature births before 32 weeks gestation also raise the mother’s risk. These events are biologically the same events as having abortion.[5-8] That evidence provides biological support for an independent link between abortion and breast cancer.

Huffman is equally fond of the U.S. National Cancer Institute’s statements denying an association between abortion and breast cancer, a result that Congressman Henry Waxman and his Democratic colleagues (overwhelmingly men) sought.[6] She ignored the fact that the agency contradicted itself by recognizing the risk-reducing effects of childbearing and early first full term pregnancy, but still denied an association between abortion and the disease. Did it ever cross her mind that the medical establishment may fear successful medical malpractice lawsuits?

Former U.S. Surgeon General and past Deputy Director of the NCI Jesse Steinfeld, died on August 6, 2014. His experience tangling with the tobacco industry provides an example for other NCI bureaucrats, both now and in the future, who may consider taking on any other wealthy industry with political muscle. He said he believed the tobacco industry, which had lobbied the Nixon administration to remove him from his position as Surgeon General, was responsible for the loss of his job. As U.S. Surgeon General, he had upgraded the warning on cigarette packages.

Huffman has a wild imagination. She accused those who feature the bumper sticker, “Abortion causes breast cancer,” on their cars of condemning breast cancer patients who’d had abortions for “being sluts,” although the word, “slut,” cannot be found in the message. Then she proceeded to do some condemning herself. She irrationally imagined “vitriol and blame” are being cast on breast cancer patients like her. There is no blame inherent in that bumper sticker’s message any more than there’s blame inherent in the message, “Asbestos causes lung cancer.” If she imagines she’s being blamed, it’s certainly not coming from others. It originates from her.

Her irrational, emotional condemnation of owners of the bumper sticker as “horrible” people who are not “virtuous” was vitriolic. Only one risk factor for breast cancer out of many troubles her – induced abortion. She seems to be of the opinion that abortion is not a simple surgical procedure that can be likened to the removal of a wart.

It is a mystery that the Huffington Post allowed Huffman’s poorly researched article to pass for journalism. It’s pure political propaganda that espouses a dangerous form of bias against scientific evidence supporting the ABC link and which threatens the lives of millions of women around the world. Nevertheless, Huffman and the Huffington Post are paying us a back handed compliment because the work of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer and the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute represent a grave threat to the abortion industry. Note: Karen Malec is the president of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer.


1. Lanfranchi A & Fagan P. Breast cancer and induced abortion: A comprehensive review of breast development and pathophysiology, the epidemiologic literature, and proposal for creation of databanks to elucidate all breast cancer risk factors. Issues in Law and Medicine 2014;29(1):1-133. Available at: <>.
2. Huang Y, Zhang X, Li W, Song F, Dai H, Wang J, et al. A meta-analysis of the association between induced abortion and breast cancer risk among Chinese females. Cancer Causes Control. 2014;25(2):227-236. Available at: <>.
3. “No, abortion does not cause breast cancer,” by Lara Huffman, Huffington Post, August 6, 2014. Available at: <>.
4. “Women wrongly warned cancer, abortion tied,” by Laura Meckler, Associated Press, November 9, 2004.
5. Melbye M, Wohlfahrt J, Andersen A-M N, Westergaard T, Andersen PK. Preterm delivery and risk of breast cancer. Bri J Cancer 1999;80:609-13.
6. Hsieh C-c, Wuu J, Lambe M, Trichopoulos D, et al Delivery of premature newborns and maternal breast-cancer risk. Lancet 1999;353(9160):1239.
7. Vatten LJ, et al. Pregnancy related protection against breast cancer depends on length of gestation. Br J Cancer 2002;87:289-90.
8. Innes K and Byers T. First pregnancy characteristics and subsequent breast cancer risk among young women. Int J Cancer 2004; 112:306-311.
9. Letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson, October 21, 2002, from U.S. Representatives Henry Waxman, Sherrod Brown, Nita Lowey, Diane Watson, Edolphus Towns, William Lacy Clay, Tom Allen, Rosa DeLauro, Bernard Sanders, Carolyn Maloney, Elijah Cummings, Dennis Kucinich.