Thu 20th Nov 2014 | Last updated: Thu 20th Nov 2014 at 16:41pm

Facebook Logo Twitter Logo RSS Logo

Comment & Blogs

Fight breast cancer – by speaking out against abortion

Few of those campaigning against the awful disease wish to mention one of its possible causes

By on Monday, 18 June 2012

Pink balloons raise awareness of breast cancer in Seoul, South Korea (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Pink balloons raise awareness of breast cancer in Seoul, South Korea (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Every so often I receive a round-robin email headed by a list of other women also emailed, in which I am charged with passing on the urgent request to find a cure for breast cancer. The latest I received last week showed a picture of a pretty little girl toddler wearing a T-shirt with the slogan, “Find a cure before I grow boobs.” It is a very good cause and I am sure that much medical research is going on around the world with this specific aim, even as I type this. Because it is so common, we all know someone who has died of breast cancer; indeed, a very dear friend of mine lost her battle with it some years ago, leaving three young sons.

So why do I pause before pressing the “Forward” button to send on the message of this obvious good cause? Because what these round robins never say is “Spread the word! There is a proved link between induced abortion and breast cancer.” In other words, the sadly high rates of breast cancer would drop significantly – if there were fewer induced abortions.

Of course, there are other factors in breast cancer, such as childlessness, delaying first pregnancy, age and genetic inheritance. And of course we all hope for a cure. But as Dr Angela Lanfranchi, a breast cancer surgeon and co-founder of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute in New Jersey, writes in an edited extract from a new paper entitled “The Abortion and Breast Cancer Link”, that has been published in Endeavour Forum Inc newsletter for May 2012:

“In the past 30 years, landmark advances in the developmental and molecular biology of the breast coupled with repeated epidemiological studies from around the world have more and more tightly linked induced abortion as an independent risk factor in breast cancer, ie that induced abortion before 32 weeks gestation will change the breast in a way that makes it more likely to develop breast cancer.”

She goes on to state that research shows that “Induced abortion increases a woman’s risk of premature delivery… In 2006, the Institute of Medicine listed induced abortion as an immutable cause of premature birth in its publication on prematurity… [because] during an abortion the cervix is forcibly dilated and subjected to injury. Due to use of instruments such as dilators during an abortion she may have a premature delivery in subsequent births. If the premature delivery is before 32 weeks, she will have an increased risk of breast cancer.”

I wonder how many of the millions of young, confused and frightened women who every year seek advice on their pregnancies come away unaware of the medical dangers of abortion – dangers that may come back to haunt them in later life.

  • EdinburghEye

    The evidence was in forty and more years ago that prolife ideology preventing access to safe, legal abortion is the real threat to women’s health.

    Medical institutes and public bodies do not accept the results of “research” with a political agenda. It’s bad science.

    Telling lies to make your case against abortion is also bad religion, so real Christians tell me….

  • Acleron

    That gets my vote, thanks.

  • cephas2

    Good post Francis. I just heard recently that an old friend has just been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Sadly, she had an abortion many years ago which she now bitterly regrets. She was never able to have children, her marriage broke up and she has been plagued with gynecological problems and severe depression throughout her life. The reality of abortion which women are not made aware of.

  • Jackie Parkes

    A miscarriage is a tragic but entirely natural process not to be compared in any way to the violent interruption of pregnancy by surgery or pharmaceutical means..

  • EdinburghEye

     You have a right to think that way about induced miscarriage and spontaneous abortion, if you want. That’s a moral judgement. You will feel differently when you need an abortion, but hey.

    Scientifically, however, the testable hypothesis is that a pregnancy “interrupted” before childbirth is a risk factor for breast cancer. That would apply whether this was induced miscarriage by medical or surgical means, or spontaneous abortion. Medical terms.

    When you make moral judgements about women and their abortions, you are in the sphere of religion. You can declare that morally God prefers women to die in illegal unsafe abortions and for good Christians to stand aside and wash their hands, and this is not a testable hypothesis: it’s a statement of religious belief.

    But claiming a link between abortion and breast cancer is a scientific claim, not a religious one – and very, very bad science, since the hypothesis has already been tested and shown conclusively to be false.

  • EdinburghEye

    How appalling that your “friend”, instead of being comforted for her hurts, is being abused and taunted and told – without evidence – that her hurts are her fault because she had an abortion.

    No wonder she has been plagued by severe depression with “friends” like you.

  • Brian

    Absolute lies spread by religious dogma. Why do you still have any power in this world? You teach people to hate, to discriminate, and spread damaging lies that destroy women’s lives. Stop it. Now.

  • cephas2

    Francis, how sad that many of your commentators are rabid-anti-Catholics. I think it is because you dared to speak out about Ann Furedi, the great high-priestess of abortion in the UK. Her acolytes obviously follow your postings carefully and then denigrate any replies which are pro-Church and pro-life. We should add these poor deluded souls to our prayer lists.