Abortion and breast cancer, Abortion proponents protest too much, methinks
Joel BrindWhen the US state of Texas published an informational booklet for women considering abortion, in accordance with its informed consent statute, it was apparently far beyond the pale for its "The Woman's Right to Know" booklet to even suggest that "If you give birth to your baby, you are less likely to develop breast cancer in the future. Research indicates that having an abortion will not provide you this increased protection against breast cancer". To the Washington Post "Factchecker" Michelle Ye Hee Lee, (14 Dec. 2016) anything short of robust denial of the reality of the abortionbreast cancer link (ABC-link) is deserving of at least 3 Pinocchios out of 4.
But apparently, that wasn't enough to wipe out any credibility for the ABC link, so Snopes.com - the self-appointed arbiter of what is real and what is fake in the news, put out a very lengthy treatise on 3 Feb this year, calling the ABC link decidedly "false", although it weasel-worded the headline by overstating the link it labeled "false". It called "false" the statement: "Studies have proved that having an abortion increases a woman's risk of developing breast cancer." So since when does the burden of proof fall upon those calling out the hazard? The precautionary principle never seems to apply when it comes to abortion.
But I digress. The real question here is why there is so much effort directed to squash any credence given the dangers of abortion. Actually, this likely sounds rather familiar to Australian audiences, given the convulsive denials emanating from the Australian body politic and body medic, if you will, following on the heels of Dr. Angela Lanfranchi's visit to Australia back in 2014. Most prominent at the time was a socalled "study" on Australian women which appeared hastily in the prestigious Medical Journal of Australia (MJA). It was actually published in the MJA merely as a letter, revealing no data on induced abortion at all! Never mind the 1988 Adelaide study which showed a 160% increased risk of breast cancer among South Australian women. And in fact, the Adelaide data was buried for 7 years before it was published, even though induced abortion was the strongest risk factor observed!
But back to the central question, and its obvious answer: The ABC link is real. Prominent medical journals, medical societies, popular journals, cancer charities, politicians and health ministries around the world have been trying to squash the knowledge of it for at least 35 years, that I can document. All the while, even as breast cancer continues as a great scourge in the West, it has become a burgeoning epidemic in Asia, with evidence of the ABC link exploding just within the past decade.
A 2013 meta-analysis of 36 studies from mainland China reported a 44% overall increased risk, similar to what we had reported in our 1996 meta-analysis of worldwide studies. But an even more compelling picture is emerging from South Asia. That's because, unlike in the West, where there are many risk factors for breast cancer present, in South Asia, there are few. On the Indian subcontinent, the traditional woman is married as a teenager and starts having children right away, has several of them and breastfeeds all of them. Moreover, she doesn't smoke or drink alcohol. In short, there are very few risk factors for breast cancer, save for abortion and contraceptive steroids ("the pill"). Consequently, breast cancer has been relatively rare until very recently (closer to 1% lifetime risk v. over 10% lifetime risk in the West). So when epidemiological studies are performed in South Asia, the risk increases seen for women with any abortion average not 30-50%, but more like 150%! Two studies in Bengali women even reported risk increases exceeding 1,000%! And the number of South Asian studies reporting risk increases with abortion is prodigious: Our count stands at 17 in the peer-reviewed literature, just within the past 10 years! My colleagues at the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute and I are in the process of compiling a systematic review and metaanalysis of the South Asian ABC literature, and expect to publish it later this year.
And when we consider the fact that there are so many women in Asia, the effects of the ABC link begin to resemble a real holocaust. Consider that there are over a billion women in India and China alone. If half of them end up having one or more abortions (a statistic fast approaching), and their lifetime risk is raised merely from 2% to 4% thereby, we have 2% of 50% of a billion, i.e., 10 million women likely to get breast cancer because they had an abortion! Moreover, the mortality rate is not a mere 20% as in the West, but more like 50%. So it's quite conservative to estimate that over the next several decades, 5 million Asian women will die of breast cancer because they had an abortion. The politically correct purveyors of public health information can't cover this up much longer, can they?