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Abortion - medical problems

Is there a link between
abortion & breast cancer?

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Overview:

bullet As usual, pro-lifers and pro-choicers promote different beliefs about a possible Abortion-Breast Cancer (ABC) linkage:

bullet Most pro-life groups assert that an ABC link exists; i.e. that if a woman has an abortion, her chance of contracting breast cancer increases. 1 They rely primarily on the results of case-control studies which are known to be heavily biased and unreliable.

bullet Most pro-choice groups state that an ABC link either does not exist, or is unproven. 2 They rely primarily on cohort studies which are known to be much more reliable and accurate.

bullet Most anti-cancer health-promotion groups believe that an ABC link has not been proven to exist.

bullet The best studies, cohort studies, all report no link, at least for the 90% of abortions that are performed during the first trimester. One Danish study reported in 1997 found that a link might possibly exist for very late-term abortions; however the conclusion is not statistically significant. A much larger subsequent worldwide meta-study confirmed that no ABC link exists.

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Topics covered in this section:

bullet Introduction: List of risk factors for cancer. A known ABC link
 
bullet Medical studies of a possible ABC link
 
bullet Ideologically-driven political interference
 
bullet Verbal legal attacks by pro-life groups
 
bullet Pro-life studies; agencies' statements; conclusions

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "Abortion and the increased risk of breast cancer," at:  http://www.pregnantpause.org/
  2. "Naral Factsheets: Abortion, Breast Cancer and the Misuse of Science," at: http://www.naral.org/

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Copyright 1998 to 2012 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Latest update: 2012-JAN-02
Author: B.A. Robinson

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