In 1840, up to 30% of all new mothers were dying of something called “childbed fever.” Finally, one lone doctor, named Ignaz Semmelweis, came up with a theory. Maybe, just maybe, the fever was related to a lack of hand-washing by the doctors and nurses delivering the child. He was convinced of his theory, and even saw success when it was tested out. However, for over 30 years all his theory met with was ridicule and disgrace. In the meantime, thousands died.
In our day and age, unfortunately, scientific ignorance cannot be blamed. In the 1800′s, before the development of complex microscopes, germs could not be seen, so their ignorant obstinacy might be excused. In our day and age, the link between breast cancer and abortion is being ignored because it is politically incorrect. Abortion is a sacred cow which must be protected at all costs- even when scientific fact must be denied. The tragic cost? Not only do unborn children continue to be destroyed, but thousands of women will suffer the ravages of breast cancer and many will needlessly die.
I have been attempting to plow my way through the debate on the different types of studies that have been done and the conclusions drawn. I have attempted to understand why organizations like the National Cancer Institute (NCI) or the American Cancer Society (ACS) have rejected all of the research and concluded that there is no proof that induced abortion increases the risk of breast cancer. By 1997, there had been 12 studies done in the United States. Eleven had indicated an increased risk, with eight of them being statistically significant. However, ACS researchers concluded that the research was “inconclusive,” and that they could not arrive at “definite conclusions.”
The information that was the most convincing to me was an examination of the raw data on breast cancer statistics. In 1973, the year abortion became legal in the United States, 82.6 out of 100,000 women contracted the disease. By 1998, the rate had increased more than 40% to 118.1 per 100,000. And, even more disturbing, the only age range that increased between 1987 and 1998 was the 50-64 age group, those young enough to have had abortions. Neither the NCI or the ASC have done anything to explain these statistics.
Women need to be informed of the potential danger they are in! I am especially concerned about teenagers. In spite of the black-out among the national cancer organizations, concerned physicians have been continuing to do research. A study was done on women who had abortions under the age of 18. The general group experienced an increased risk of later contracting breast cancer. However, all of the women in this study who had a family history of breast cancer developed the disease before the age of 45.
Let’s set aside the whole abortion factor for a moment. We hear a lot about breast cancer and getting mammograms and watching our weight, etc (and well we should!) However, have you ever heard anyone mention that one of the most effective methods of prevention is having a child before the age of 24 and then continuing to have children and to breastfeed them? Rather, most women’s organizations encourage young women to delay their first pregnancy and to have smaller families (if any family at all!) Now, I am not endorsing teenage motherhood, and certainly not motherhood before marriage. However, women deserve to know all the facts and then be allowed to make a decision for themselves. If you haven’t realized it already, pro-choice is a loaded term: those who claim the title are very exclusive as to what it applies to. In fact, abortion is it. And, obviously, they don’t want anyone to have all the facts about it, so how much intelligent “choice” do women really have?
Let me close with a quote from Lawrence R. Hutoon, M.D., Ph. D: “Sorting out the science and truth of the matter is of the utmost importance so that relevant informed consent information can be provided to women considering an abortion. Consensus and political correctness must not inhibit the open discussion and evaluation of the scientific data.” Amen to that! Lives are at stake- so political correctness be damned!
Keeping it true! Barb