I have not engaged this issue—whether abortion increases the risk of breast cancer—but have noticed the feverish drive to discredit any such link—the emotionality of which makes me think that the objections have more to do with politics than science. Be that as it may, a new study has come out showing the “ABC” link. From the story:
An abortion can triple a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer in later life, researchers say. A team of scientists made the claim while carrying out research into how breastfeeding can protect women from developing the killer disease. While concluding that breastfeeding offered significant protection from cancer, they also noted that the highest reported risk factor in developing the disease was abortion. Other factors included the onset of the menopause and smoking. The findings, published in the journal Cancer Epidemiology, are the latest research to show a link between abortion and breast cancer. The research was carried out by scientists at the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka. 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.
Other larger studies have indicated no connection. But recent studies have convinced a former skeptic:
There has been an 80 per cent increase in the rate of breast cancer since 1971, when in the wake of the Abortion Act, the number of abortions rose from 18,000 to nearly 200,000 a year. Earlier this year, Dr Louise Brinton, a senior researcher with the U.S. National Cancer Institute who did not accept the link, reversed her position to say she was now convinced abortion increased the risk of breast cancer by about 40 per cent.
Expect there to be a concerted attack on this research, which puzzles me a lot. Regardless of whether one believes abortion should be legal, certainly women should make an informed decision if they are thinking about terminating. Even if the chance of getting breast cancer is small due to abortion—and again, I am not involved with this at all—surely women should be told that it seems to exist. Right?