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Religious Tolerance logo

Religious misinformation, disinformation,
lies, darn lies, statistics, etc. on the Internet. Part 3

Post-Abortion syndrome. Abortion/breast cancer link.
Anti-hate group criticizes inaccuracies. Misc. items.

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This topic is a continuation from a previous essay

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Allegations that Post-Abortion Syndrome (PAS) is extremely common:

The following is taken from the introduction to the section of this web site that deals with PAS:

PAS is a term used to describe a long interval of negative emotional and spiritual experiences following an abortion. PAS often involves overwhelming levels of guilt and depression.

As is so common on matters relating to moral and ethical problems with a religious component, no consensus exists:

  • Many pro-life organizations promote the belief that PAS is widespread, severe, and frequently experienced by many -- perhaps most -- women who have had abortions.

  • Many pro choice groups teach that PAS is extremely rare or non-existent.

  • The American Psychiatric Association has concluded that PAS is rare.

From what little information is available on PAS, it appears to exist. However, it is less common than postpartum depression that women sometimes start to experience shortly after childbirth.

PAS seems to occur mainly to women who:

  • Are pressured to have an abortion against their will,

  • Decide to have an abortion without having carefully thought out all aspects of their decision, and/or

  • Change their beliefs after having had an abortion about the nature of human embryo, so that they now believe that the abortion ended the life of a human person rather than the life of an embryo that had the potential to develop into a human person.
More details

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Allegations of a link between abortion and breast cancer:

The following is taken from the introduction to the section of this web site that deals with abortion and breast cancer:

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

  • 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. They rely primarily on the results of case-control studies which are known to be heavily biased and unreliable.

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

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

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 was not statistically significant. A much larger subsequent worldwide meta-study confirmed that no ABC link exists.

Debate on this topic is complicated by the fact that woman who have their first child early in life, experience a lower incidence of breast cancer later in life. Terminating the pregnancy would raise her chances of developing breast cancer back towards what it would have been if she had not become pregnant early in life.

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Anti-hate group criticizes anti-gay group for copyright infringement and inaccuracies:

The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) specializes in exposing racist, sexist, homophobic, and xenophobic groups. On 2012-JUL-12 they criticized the Public Advocate of the United States (PAUS), an anti-gay group in Virginia, for allegedly modifying the picture of a gay engaged couple kissing. The photograph was taken against a background of New York City skyscrapers. The photo was allegedly modified to show a mountain background with a caption added: "State Senator Jean White's idea of 'family values'." It was used to attack a Republican Colorado state Senator Jean White. In a "cease and desist" letter alleging copyright infringement, Christine P. Sun, Deputy Legal Director of the the SPLC wrote to PAUS, stating that:

" 'Public Advocate' has spread lies and vitriol about LGBT people to raise funds, impede progress toward greater equality, and to deny LGBT people basic dignity and respect. From the many regrettable examples that could be listed, 'Public Advocate' has throughout the years:"

"'Public Advocate' has spread lies and vitriol about LGBT people to raise funds, impede progress toward greater equality, and to deny LGBT people basic dignity and respect," she wrote. "From the many regrettable examples that could be listed, 'Public Advocate' has throughout the years:

• blamed 'the homosexual agenda' for enhanced-passenger-search procedures at airports so that gay people can feel others up;

• compared marriage equality to bestiality through production of a 'Man-Donkey Mock Wedding Ceremony';

• defamed gay people as pedophiles and rapists to be feared, in reference, for example, to permitting gay scout masters, which is 'the same as being an accessory to the rape of hundreds of boys';

• demonized gay people and those suffering from AIDS as 'prey[ing] on children to replenish the ‘Homo- sexual Community';

• provoked readers through a fundraising letter to 'imagine a world where the police allow homosexual adults to rape young boys in the streets';

• promoted harmful, discredited conversion therapy as necessary and effective to rescue gay people from their orientation; and

• mischaracterized national legislation to address an epidemic of anti-LGBT harassment at schools as 'requir[ing] schools to teach appalling homosexual acts...force private and even religious schools to teach a pro-homosexual agenda...ram through their entire perverted vision for a homosexual America....create a new America based on sexual promiscuity'." 1

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Assorted examples of misinformation too numerous to explain in detail:

  • Disinformation: President Obama was born in Kenya or some other foreign country and is thus ineligible to be President: He was actually born in the U.S. state of Hawaii. This is supported by his birth certificate, a birth announcement at the time of his birth in a Honolulu paper, and recollections of relatives and neighbors.

  • Disinformation: President Obama is a Muslim: He is actually a Christian. Prior to his election as President, he went regularly to a United Church of Christ church. Since then he has attended a variety of congregations.

  • Disinformation: "Obamacare" -- properly called the "Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA)," will increase the national debt and bankrupt the nation. In reality, the Act is revenue neutral.

  • Disinformation: The 2011-AUG HHS Mandate requires religious organizations to pay for birth control pills for its employees. In reality, the mandate exempts religious organizations who hire employees only from among their own members. However, it treats health plans at religiously affiliated hospitals, universities, schools, social service agencies, etc, in which employees follow a wide range of religions -- and none -- in the same way as health plans used by secular employers. The plans must provide preventive services for women including recommended contraceptive services without co-payments, co-insurance or deductibles. Ultimately, however, it is up to the employee to decide whether to actually use these services.

    Employers will not have to pay for these preventive services; they pay the same for employees who choose to use contraceptives as for those who don't. Ultimately, the question is: who decides whether women will have free access to these preventive services: the individual employee or the employer.

    By requireing plans to include contraceptive medication without copays, more women will contracept. This means fewer unexpected pregnancies. Since about 40% of unexpected pregnancies result in abortions, the HHS mandate will reduce the number of abortions significantly.

    In a news release dated 2012-JAN-20, the HHS extended the effective date of the regulations by a year to 2013-AUG for religiously affiliated employers "who, based on religious beliefs, do not currently provide contraceptive coverage in their insurance plan."

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References used:

The following information source was used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlink is not necessarily still active today.

  1. JohnTomasic, "Former Vail-area state Sen. Jean White targeted by anti-gay group for votes on civil unions," The Colorado Independent, 2012-JUL-12, at:

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This topic continues in the next essay

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Site navigation:

Home > News > Misinformation in the religious media > here

Copyright © 2012 by Ontario Consultants on Religious Tolerance
Originally written: 2012-JUL-13
Latest update: 2012-JUL-15
Author: B.A. Robinson

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