The Catholic Medical Association has added its voice to growing support for
legislation requiring abortion doctors to inform prospective patients about the
increased risk of breast cancer associated with having an abortion.
Upholding its mission to abide by “the principles of the Catholic faith and
morality as related to the science and practice of medicine,” the coalition of
Catholic physicians of the United States and Canada passed a resolution
urging state legislators across the country to address the matter.
The CMA resolution declares:
Whereas epidemiological evidence of an association
between abortion and breast cancer has existed for almost a half century,
Whereas 29 out of 38 worldwide epidemiological studies show an
increased risk of breast cancer of approximately 30 percent among women
who have had an abortion,
Whereas all women undergoing abortion are entitled to full informed
consent as to all risks including long term risks,
Therefore be it resolved that the Catholic Medical Association endorses
the passage of state legislation to require abortionists to inform all women of
their future increased vulnerability to breast cancer.
Minnesota and Texas lawmakers passed such informed-consent
legislation earlier this year and Massachusetts is considering a similar
“It’s tragic that some doctors have to be forced to reveal the breast cancer
risk to their patients,” commented Karen Malec, president of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast
Cancer. “However, thousands of women have developed the disease
because profiteers in the abortion and the cancer fundraising industries
misrepresented the abortion-breast cancer research and concealed the risk
from them for 46 years.”
The resolution cites evidence supporting an abortion-breast cancer link,
commonly known as the ABC link. Twenty-nine of 38 published studies
conducted worldwide since 1957 show a positive association between the
two. Seventeen of the 29 are statistically significant, which means there’s a 95
percent certainty that the association is not by chance.
The CMA’s endorsement follows a similar announcement by the
Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, or AAPS, favoring
disclosure to patients of the “highly plausible” relationship between abortion
and increased risk of breast cancer.
“The AAPS believes that patients have the right to give or withhold fully
informed consent before undergoing medical treatment. This includes
notification of potential adverse effects,” said AAPS executive director Jane
Orient. “While there is a difference of medical opinion concerning the
abortion-breast cancer link, there is a considerable volume of evidence
supporting this link, which is, moreover, highly plausible. We believe that a
reasonable person would want to be informed of the existence of this evidence
before making her decision.”
Four other medical organizations recognize the ABC link. They include the
Family Resources, the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians
and Gynecologists, the Breast
Cancer Prevention Institute and The
Polycarp Research Institute.
reported earlier this year that Dr. John M. Thorpe, an epidemiologist at the
University of North Carolina’s School of Public Health, and his colleagues
called for informed consent following a study that examined a variety of
physical and psychological consequences associated with abortion.
“A young woman with an unintended pregnancy clearly sacrifices the
protective effect of a term delivery should she decide to abort and delay
childbearing,” wrote the authors of the study published in the January issue of
Survey. “Thus, we conclude that informed consent before induced
abortion should include information about the subsequent risk of preterm
delivery and depression.”
reported on the risk cited by Thorpe and his colleagues, known as the
“protective effect” of full-term pregnancy: The sooner a woman has her first
child, the lower her risk of developing breast cancer.
Groups such as Planned
Parenthood attack the validity of the research and refuse to inform
prospective abortion recipients of the existence, dismissing even the
statistically significant findings as “misinformation” being used “as a weapon in
the campaign against safe, legal abortion.”
“Undaunted by the absence of compelling evidence associating induced
abortion with a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer, anti-choice
extremists insist on making the connection anyway,” says Planned
Parenthood on its website.
Despite the overwhelming research supporting the association and the
growing chorus of voices urging its promotion, major cancer-prevention
organizations such as the National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer
Society, or ACS, downplay or deny the ABC link.
The ACS currently maintains on its website that “research studies have not found a cause-and-effect relationship between breast cancer and abortion.” After admitting that the research on the link between induced abortions and breast cancer is not clear, it dismisses all 38 studies but one – known as the Melbye study – which it describes at length.
“I encourage the American Cancer Society and the rest of the cancer
fund-raising establishment to come clean and abandon their paternalistic
policy of censoring any research reporting a positive relationship between
abortion and breast cancer,” said Malec. “Even a study labeled ‘authoritative’
and ‘definitive’ by the ACS and other cancer groups reports a 29 percent risk
elevation for women under age 20 who procure abortions and a statistically
significant 89 percent risk elevation for women obtaining abortions after 18
weeks gestation. Yet, the cancer establishment has effectively used the study
to erase any notion from the minds of women that abortion might be unsafe.”
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