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From:  The Pro-Life Infonet
Reply-To:  Steven Ertelt
Subject:   Self Magazine Accused of Bias on Abortion-Breast Cancer Link
Source:   Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer; July 25, 2002

Self Magazine Accused of Bias on Abortion-Breast Cancer Link

Chicago, IL -- The Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer denounced Self Magazine for having published an article misrepresenting 45 years of research which implicate abortion as a risk factor for breast cancer. 
In an August 2002 article entitled, "Abortion and breast cancer: The truth on trial," Barry Yeoman attempted to persuade women that the abortion-breast cancer link is nothing more than a "controversial theory."

Self Magazine, whose masthead claims it's the "founder of the pink ribbon," sells advertising space to pharmaceutical companies which manufacture abortifacients.  "I'm not surprised that Self Magazine wants to jump on the disinformation bandwagon," argued Mrs. Malec, president of the coalition. "History has a way of repeating itself.  In the 1950's, newspapers and magazines were disinterested in informing the public about risks associated with tobacco because of the hefty revenues received from tobacco advertising.  Only Readers Digest informed smokers about the risks because it didn't accept advertising at that time.  It published an article entitled, "Cancer by the Carton," and accused the tobacco industry of covering up the link between tobacco and lung cancer."

Yeoman assured his readers that the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Cancer Society (ACS) "have reviewed the claims (about abortion as a risk factor) and declared them flawed."  Yet, early this month, the NCI removed from its website an
erroneous fact sheet discussing the abortion-breast cancer link.  Most of the 15 American studies exploring a link were funded, at least in part, by the NCI, and 13 of them found increased risk.  Mrs. Malec asked, "Does Yeoman really expect women to believe that these scientists, whose research was paid for by U.S. taxpayers, don't really practice science?"

Let's review the facts.  Research published in 1997 and authored by a scientist working for the ACS, Phyllis Wingo, showed increased risk, but she refused to say so in her conclusions.  In 1986 she worked for the Centers for Disease Control when she co-authored a letter to the British journal, Lancet, and said "Induced abortion before first term pregnancy increases the risk of breast cancer."

The WHO published a widely recognized landmark study in its journal, Bulletin of the World Health Organization, in 1970 which found that the earlier a woman had a first full term pregnancy (FFTP), the lower her risk for breast cancer is.  The WHO study also found a "suggested increased risk
associated with abortion - contrary to the reduction in risk associated with full term births."

Mrs. Malec said, "WHO denies that abortion causes breast cancer, but acknowledges that early FFTP reduces risk.  That is not only illogical, but also disingenuous."

Just recently, Lancet published what was touted as a landmark study by Valerie Beral et al., although their findings were nothing new.  It was reported that women who bear more children and who breast feed longer reduce their risks for breast cancer.

"Scientists and anti-cancer organizations have long acknowledged this," said Mrs. Malec, "yet they've been completely silent for three decades while a war has been waged on women's health - an aggressive marketing campaign promoting sales of abortions and abortifacients and funded by our nation's wealthiest entrepreneurs, corporations and foundations.  Although early age at FFTP has long been considered the strongest protective factor against the disease, our nation's cancer watchdogs did nothing to initiate a nationwide public health awareness program for married women. Instead, they watched women's breast cancer rates surge to unprecedented levels and concealed the fact that abortion was being studied as an independent risk factor for the disease throughout the last half of the 20th Century. Now they expect us to believe them when they say that abortion doesn't cause breast cancer, although they never wanted women to know about the research in the first place."

Yeoman offered quotes from officials at several organizations which can be expected to deny a link, including: 1) Planned Parenthood, the nation's largest abortion provider; 2) Family Health International, a family planning group which, the Population Research Institute reported, was given funds to develop quinacrine hydrochloride pills for use in developing nations (The pills are inserted into a woman's uterus, usually surreptitiously, and cause a severe chemical burn that scars shut her fallopian tubes); and 3) Breast Cancer Action in San Francisco, some of whose board members are self-described "reproductive rights" and gay and lesbian activists.

"Apparently, Yeoman thinks women shouldn't worry their pretty little heads about the safety of abortion," Mrs. Malec asserted.  I wonder whether he'd choose to have an optional surgical procedure - a vasectomy, for instance if strong biological evidence and 28 out of 37 studies published over nearly a half century in peer reviewed journals supported a causal relationship between vasectomies and prostate cancer?  Would he hesitate to get a vasectomy if a medical text cited the procedure as a risk factor for prostate cancer and if four medical organizations recognized a link? Wouldn't he want to be told the truth about the research by physicians and men's magazines?  Why are women deserving of anything less?"

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