Abortion and Breast Cancer

    An abortion provider recently had a court date. The plaintiff in the case alleges that the abortionist's clinic is making misleading advertising claims -- and suppressing medical data that indicates abortion substantially increases the risk of breast cancer. Plaintiff Amy Jo Mattson is not seeking monetary damages, since she's not claiming that she herself was personally misled or harmed. She filed the lawsuit against Red River Women's Clinic in Fargo, under a North Dakota law that allows her to file "on behalf of the general public." At issue is a brochure handed out to women considering abortions -- claiming there is no evidence linking abortion and breast cancer, and claiming that abortion is ten times safer than childbirth. Ms. Mattson is suing to force the clinic to cease and desist from making those false claims. In addition, she is asking the court to require the clinic to disclose two additional facts that she believes are vital to informed decision-making. One is that having at least one full-term pregnancy before age 30 protects a woman against breast cancer in later life. The second point is that the vast majority of studies demonstrate that having an abortion at any age, increases the risk of breast cancer later. Her allegations are backed by substantial data. Thirty-seven studies have researched the connection between abortion and breast cancer, and twenty-eight show a connection. In fact, seven of them show more than a two-fold increase in risk! Last year British physician Thomas Stuttaford published an article in The Times of London skeptical of such a link. But this year the accumulating evidence forced him to reverse his position. In the May 17 issue, he wrote, "Breast cancer is diagnosed in 33,000 women in the U.K. each year; of these, an unusually high proportion had an abortion before eventually starting a family. Such women are up to four times more likely to develop breast cancer." New York endocrinologist Dr. Joel Brind plans to testify in the trial in North Dakota. He states that he has discovered that, "During the first two trimesters of pregnancy, the breasts undergo a growth spurt and an explosive proliferation of cells caused by sharply increased production of the female hormone estrogen. Thus the breasts contain more and more undifferentiated, cancer-vulnerable cells as the pregnancy progresses. The third trimester normally sees these cells differentiate into milk-producing cells, cells that are less vulnerable to carcinogens." But if there is no third trimester -- if pregnancy is terminated prematurely -- he continues, "Abortion thus robs a woman of the natural protection against breast cancer that a full-term pregnancy provides -- and moreover increases her risk beyond what it would have been, had she not gotten pregnant at all." In spite of these established facts, the Red River clinic continues to distribute pamphlets saying, "there is no established link between abortion and breast cancer." One of the attorneys in the case -- John Kindley of South Bend, Indiana -- alleges that withholding accurate information from women considering an abortion is "medical malpractice." All we want is for women to have all the facts. The abortion industry says it cares about a woman's choice. How about a woman's health?


Chuck Colson



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