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Miss Oregon takes on 'ABC link'
Posted By Mandi Steele On 07/21/2002 @ 1:00 am In Front Page | Comments Disabled
This year’s Miss Oregon beauty pageant winner earned her crown after giving a speech on the controversial topic of the link between abortion and breast cancer.
Brita Stream, 22, expressed the need for women to be educated on the abortion/breast cancer issue. During her speech on July 13, she discussed different studies that showed a link between women who have had an abortion and those diagnosed with breast cancer.
Not afraid of a little criticism for her speech topic, Stream told reporters, “I think the word ‘abortion’ often ruffles people’s feathers. This is a health issue not a political one.”
The “ABC link” has been an important issue to Stream outside of the pageant arena, too, as evidenced by a letter she wrote to The Daily Barometer. In it, she refers to a study by the National Cancer Institute, saying, “[T]here is a 50 percent increase in the risk of breast cancer, before age 45, among women who had one or more induced abortions. Furthermore, there is an 80 percent increase in the risk of breast cancer among women who had abortions who also have a family history of breast cancer.”
As reported by WND, the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute has reported that when a woman conceives, her estrogen level increases hundreds of times above normal. The hormone surge leads to the growth of “undifferentiated” cells in the breast as the body prepares to produce milk for the coming baby. Undifferentiated cells are vulnerable to the effects of carcinogens, which can give rise to cancerous tumors later in life.
In the final weeks of a full-term pregnancy, those cells are “terminally differentiated” through a still largely unknown process and are ready to produce milk. Differentiated cells are not vulnerable to carcinogens. However, should a pregnancy be terminated prior to cell differentiation, the woman is left with abnormally high numbers of undifferentiated cells, therefore increasing her risk of developing breast cancer.
Stream’s win came as a surprise to some, because she spoke about what many deem a “conservative” subject and since Stream was a first-timer at the Miss Oregon contest. She received a $13,000 scholarship for claiming the Miss Oregon title and now will go on to the Miss America contest on Sept. 21.
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