Daily Dispatches
Wikimedia/Jon Sullivan

Stop eating red meat but don't worry about abortion


Research suggesting a possible, slight link between the consumption of too much red meat in early adulthood and breast cancer received much media attention recently. But numerous studies showing a much more robust link between breast cancer and abortion are largely ignored—or worse—scoffed at.

Last month, Harvard University researchers published a study that analyzed data collected from more than 88,000 women, aged 26 to 45. The women were nurses who originally filled out questionnaires regarding dietary food frequency in 1991. They filled out follow-up questionnaires every four years through 2007. The researchers estimated that women consuming the highest quantities of red meat during early adulthood, may have a 20 percent increased risk of breast cancer.

While this study is creating a great deal of interest and concern, there continues to be little attention given to research indicating a significant link between breast cancer and abortion.

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Since 1996, numerous studies have shown a link between induced abortion and breast cancer, the most recent being an analysis of 36 articles covering 14 provinces in China. They found a 44 percent increased risk of breast cancer for women who had one abortion. The figures skyrocketed to a 76 percent increase for women who had at least two abortions and 89 percent for women who had at least three.

But organizations such The National Cancer Institute and the American Cancer Society have consistently reported no association between induced abortion and breast cancer risk. They contend the research supporting a link is flawed by reporter bias because the studies were conducted by asking women to self-report a history of abortion. They argue the statistics are not reliable because women who have been diagnosed with breast cancer may be much more motivated to accurately report past medical history than women who have not been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Joel Brind, professor of human biology and endocrinology at Baruch College, City University of New York, and co-founder of the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, told the National Right to Life News Today that the reporter bias argument has been disproved many times. For example, a study conducted in New York in 1989 eliminated reporter bias by using medical records from the time a woman had an abortion, long before they had breast cancer. That study showed a 90 percent increased risk of breast cancer associated with abortion.

Brind believes any time studies come out that confirm the link between abortion and breast cancer, mainstream medical journals publish studies to reassure the public about the safety of abortion in order to keep up the “wall of denial.” If the link is something less politicized—like red meat—they readily publicize it.

“When the abortion enthusiasts control the media, the medical societies, the universities, and the medical journals, as well as the major cancer charities and government health ministries of the world, they create whatever ‘facts’ they want,” Brind said. “And they do not care how many people suffer and die—born and unborn—because their ‘facts’ are really just lies.”

Julie Borg
Julie Borg

Julie is a clinical psychologist and writer who lives in Dayton, Ohio. She is a graduate of the WORLD Journalism Institute's mid-career course.


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