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Yesterday’s article by Kristen Lawson ("Doctors furious at Bill switch") records an astonishing statement by Professor David Ellwood, Canberra Hospital’s head of Women’s and Children’s Health. Speaking in behalf of Canberra doctors, he reportedly "said that no link had been established between abortion and breast cancer"

Over forty years of published medical research says otherwise. To date, 25 out of 31 epidemiological studies worldwide have evidenced a significant link between abortion and breast cancer, with the risk increase averaging about 30%, as I and my colleagues at the Pennsylvania State College of Medicine documented in our comprehensive review and meta-analysis", published in the British Medical Association’s Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health two years ago. Moreover, this increased risk is attributable to the known effects of the exceedingly high levels of estrogen a woman’s breasts are subjected to early in a normal pregnancy; effects normally reversed only in the third trimester—if there is one.

Perhaps most disturbing is that some of the strongest evidence of the abortion-breast cancer link emerged from the only published study on Australian women. In that study, Dr. Tom Rohan et al. originally published their findings in the American Journal of Epidemiology in 1988, but inexplicably, the authors withheld the abortion-breast cancer data they had collected. It was not until 1995 that those data surfaced in another publication in the British Journal of Cancer, data which revealed a statistically significant, 160% increased risk of breast cancer among Australian women who had chosen abortion.

It is understandable that the doctors of Canberra would rather practice medicine without the burden of legislatively imposed restrictions. But sadly, their expression of such profound ignorance as in their denial of increased breast cancer risk as a potential consequence of elective abortion, underscores the need of Australian women for legally mandated protection.





Member Organisation, World Council for Life and Family

NGO in Special Consultative Status with ECOSOC of the UN