Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Abortion and breast cancer: evidence of a link

Briefing. The article says "Pregnancy causes breast cells to grow and divide. An abortion interrupts this process, leaving large number of undifferentiated cells which are especially susceptible to cancer." It is interesting to note also the well-established negative link between breast cancer and breast-feeding (ie breast feeding makes cancer less likely).

From CFNews: Patrick Carroll's Research and the ABC Link Debate, by Colin Mason

Rates of breast cancer are skyrocketing in countries which have legalized abortion. But this suggestion--that abortion causes breast cancer--causes radical feminists, who are otherwise greatly concerned about breast cancer--to go into spasms of denial. This is why it is vitally important to the pro-life cause that the ABC link be investigated rationally, documented carefully, and presented convincingly. British statistician Patrick Carroll, who is Director of Research at Britain's Pension and Population Research Institute, has done just that in his new study, "Assessing the Damage," which was just published on October 25th of this year.

Some years ago, Carroll recognized that the U.K., because of the all-pervasive British Medical System and the public funding of abortions, has some of the most complete data on abortion, breast cancer, and other illnesses available anywhere. He used this data, which spans the 40 years since the legalization of abortion in 1967, to see if it showed any connection between abortion and suiicide, mental illness, and breast cancer in each of the U.K.'s four regions: England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. He also looked at other medical sequalae of abortion, such as the level of mental illness and subsequent suicide rates.

According to official figures, the modal age for abortions in England is 20,
while the modal age for live births is 30. Women are marrying later, if at
all, and the proportion of pregnancies among unmarried women continues to
grow. Many of these women seek abortions. Of the 180,000 abortion in 2006,
100,000 were performed on women who had no prior abortions, while 80,000
were performed on women who have at least one prior abortion.

Carroll's study shows, as one might suspect, that mental illness is more
common following first-time abortion. As the number of first-time abortions
grows, so has antidepressant use. Thirty-one million prescriptions were
written in England in 2006, a nearly 10 million increase over the
21.3million written in 2001.

Most importantly, however, his study clarifies why there has been a radical
upswing in the incidence of British breast cancer since the legalization of
abortion. Rates of breast cancer have risen by an incredible 80 per cent
since the late seventies.

Carroll begins by noting that upper class women are more likely to
develop breast cancer and more likely to have abortions. "The social
gradient for female breast cancer is unlike that of other cancers with upper
class women having a higher rate of incidence than those from lower social
classes," Carroll writes. "As in other countries this is termed a negative
or reverse social gradient for female breast cancer . . British official
publications report on the social gradient but do not explain it in terms of
known risk factors."

This reverse social gradient for breast cancer is far too steep to be
explained by the fact that upper-class women are having children later in
life, when the risk for breast cancer is more severe. Rather, Carroll
explains, "upper class and upwardly mobile women are more likely to choose
abortion when they are pregnant and this helps to explain this otherwise
inexplicable social gradient. Upper class women tend to postpone
childbearing and have a later age at first birth. Abortions before full-term
pregnancies are the more carcinogenic nulliparous [first-time] abortions."

The results? After a judicious parsing of the data, Carroll concludes:
"Breast cancer can be considered a long term sequel to abortion."

Although the causes of breast cancer are not completely understood, it is
commonly accepted that hormonal changes play a large role. Pregnancy causes
breast cells to grow and divide. An abortion interrupts this process,
leaving large number of undifferentiated cells which are especially
susceptible to cancer.

The media in the U.K., not surprisingly, have not been kind to Carroll's
study and the British medical establishment has yet to comment. What can
they say, after all? The data on abortions and breast cancer come from the
government itself, and are not subject to "recall bias," or any of the other
shortcomings that normally afflict survey data. The argument is clear and

While Carroll ends by calling for further study, he also makes it clear that
he thinks the facts speak for themselves. "The correlation [between breast
cancer and abortion] is much higher than for other known risk factors such
as Childlessness, Age at First Birth and Fertility," he says. He goes on to
point out that "Modelling using abortion and birth rates as explanatory
variables has been used to make forecasts for eight countries for the future
incidence of female breast cancer."

When you can not only explain the past, but offer predictions of the future,
you are in possession of a very powerful theory indeed. We have long been
convinced at PRI that the abortion breast cancer link is fact. Carroll's
work should help convince all those who are not blinded by the ideology of

*Colin Mason is the Director for Media Production at PRI.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes i was told by one doctor on finding out i had 10 children, that i wouldn't get breast cancer...so the doctors must be aware of the protective factor of pregnancy...you do well to publicise it..

Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen