Saturday, 9 August 2014

The potential link between breast cancer and abortion

I wrote a recent blog about bigotry and the push to end the World Congress of Families Conference in Melbourne. In it, I briefly touched on the debate around a potential link between breast cancer and abortion.
Not being a medical expert, I can’t say for sure whether there is or is not a link between the two, however, I can comment on the bias we are being subjected to by the media and parts of the medical profession on this topic.
The Australian Medical Association and the Cancer Council of Victoria have denied there is any link between breast cancer and abortion. This stance makes sense for two reasons.
Firstly, if there is no link, their statement is true and reasonable.  Secondly, if it is not true, they have a potential catastrophic medical negligence lawsuit on their hands. Actually, every abortion clinic in the country could have a medical negligence lawsuits filed against them from women who are worried about getting breast cancer as a result of an abortion, or who have breast cancer already, potentially from an abortion.
The Cancer Council released a media statement on Friday that contained the following:

“Researchers have studied a possible link between abortion and breast cancer repeatedly, and the most reliable and rigorous studies have found no link exists.”

Not surprisingly, there was no reference to these “most reliable and rigorous studies”.
On the other side of the fence, a media statement was released in November 2011 by the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer. It contained the following links to no less than seven studies conducted since 2007 that support a link between breast cancer and abortion. You can see them and the press release here.
The Daily Mail also published an article in 2010 that discussed an international medical study in Sri Lanka that also concluded there is a link between abortion and breast cancer. The article contained the following:

“It is the fourth epidemiological study to report such a link in the past 14 months, with research in China, Turkey and the U.S. showing similar conclusions.”

Then there is Mia Freedman and Carrie Bickmore who will tell you that the potential link is “absolute bullshit” and an “outrageous claim”. Where are their sources? Where are their studies?
Surely this potential link is something that all women would be interested to know about for their own health reasons. As my wife posted on Facebook:

“Just like certain medications and medical procedures come with warnings about potential side effects, what's so wrong about a potential discovery that would simply attach the same sort of warning to abortion as a medical procedure?? Is that not a GOOD thing for women!??
Just like smoking doesn't give every person who smokes lung cancer, but still it is a warning that you are glad to be aware of when you buy the smokes. People will still smoke, as is their right, but at least they're informed. People know the pill carries the risk of blood clots, but are still happy to take it. It's all about women/people being informed.”

Many people, the media included, are arguing that the discussion about the possible link is a scare tactic by pro-lifers to make abortion taboo. To borrow Carrie Bickmore’s expertise, this is “an outrageous claim”. How do you provide a health warning to people on anything if you can’t talk about the medical studies that are necessary to reach a conclusion?
It’s time the media and parts of the medical profession stop trying to pull the wool over our eyes and engage in the discussion.

All the best,
Dom Meese


  1. Thanks Michel, appreciate the feedback! Any reasons why it's ridiculous?

  2. Its a well thought out and expressed argument Dom .. I hope Michael responds !!