Abortion is know to carry more emotional reactions than those who miscarry and the long-term impact may be stronger for some, but the verifiable link between cancer and abortion has been denied for decades.
Regardless of your position on abortion, the science can no longer be ignored. Abortion does in fact increase a woman's breast cancer risk. In 2010, a team of scientists found that abortion could triple a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer in later life. While concluding that breastfeeding offered significant protection from cancer, they also noted that the highest reported risk factor in developing the disease was abortion.
The findings, published in the Journal Cancer Epidemiology was consider ground breaking research to show a link between abortion and breast cancer. It was carried out by scientists at the University of Colombo in Sri Lanka and was the fourth epidemiological study to report such a link in the past within 14 months, with research in China, Turkey and the U.S. showing similar conclusions.
The new study's conclusion published on November 24, 2013 comes amid legal battles against Obamcare's requirement that employers pay for abortifacients and steroid drugs, commonly known as birth control pills.
The analysis by Yubei Huang, published in the peer-reviewed journal Cancer Causes and Control, looked at all 36 studies that have been done in China regarding the risk of developing breast cancer for women who have had at least one induced abortion.
The risk rocketed 44 percent, Huang found, after one abortion. After two, the risk rose to 76 percent. After three, it climbed to 89 percent.
Brind said his 1996 study was attacked by abortion advocates "entrenched in universities, medical societies, breast cancer charities, journals, and especially, government agencies like the National Cancer Institute," the NCI.
"In reality, the NCI is just another corrupt federal agency like the IRS and the NSA," he asserted.
The relationship between induced and spontaneous abortion and breast cancer risk has been the subject of extensive research beginning in the late 1950s. Until the mid-1990s, the evidence was inconsistent. Findings from some studies suggested there was no increase in risk of breast cancer among women who had had an abortion, while findings from other studies suggested there was an increased risk.
On the NCI website they specifically state and contrary to the Chinese study:
"the National Cancer Institute (NCI) convened a workshop of over 100 of the world's leading experts who study pregnancy and breast cancer risk. Workshop participants reviewed existing population-based, clinical, and animal studies on the relationship between pregnancy and breast cancer risk, including studies of induced and spontaneous abortions. They concluded that having an abortion or miscarriage does not increase a woman's subsequent risk of developing breast cancer."Professor Joel Brind, a science advisor for the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer who reached a similar conclusion to Huang's in 1996, called the finding a "real game-changer" in the controversy over the link between abortion and breast cancer.
"Not only does it validate the earlier findings from 1996, but its findings are even stronger," he said.
First, it documents a 44 percent breast cancer risk increase with a single abortion.
It also confirms the "dose effect," that more abortions results in a higher risk, he said.
"Risk factors that show such a dose effect have more credibility in terms of actually causing the disease," he noted.
And he noted studies from India and Bangladesh earlier this year "reported breast cancer risk increases of unprecedented magnitude: over 600 percent and over 2,000 percent, respectively, among women who had any induced abortions."
Americans must pay attention, he said, because of the pending U.S. Supreme Court cases over Obamacare's required coverage of abortion and contraceptives.
He noted the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer and the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute have filed briefs in the cases.
Yet, despite convincing evidence of the dangers of breast cancer from abortions and contraceptive use, the lucrative abortion industry continues to deny any link exists. Attacking the credibility of studies conducted by Brind and others, the abortion lobby claims there is no consensus in the scientific community on the subject, and so its patients are told they are not at risk.
"The Planned Parenthood position is that abortion poses no demonstrated health risks," says Nancy L. Sasaki, president of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. "The link between induced abortion and breast cancer is a theory whose principal promoters oppose abortion regardless of its safety. The theory has not been borne out by research. While Planned Parenthood believes that women should have access to information about all factors that influence the risk of disease, PPLA also believes that women deserve information that is medically substantiated and untainted by a political agenda. Because the research community has not reached a consensus on breast cancer and abortion, Planned Parenthood advises women who are considering terminating a pregnancy that there is no currently demonstrated health risk from abortion that would warrant basing a decision on that factor alone."
Dr. Jane Orient, a spokeswoman for the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, stated that it is outrageous that American health care providers are not more aggressive and deliberate in warning women of the risk of a fatal cancer if they choose to abort.
"Women do want to know," she said. "The abortion interests do not want them to know this. The medical establishment has been behind the effort to conceal it [the link]."
Reggie Littlejohn, whose organization Womens Rights Without Frontiers focuses on China's forced-abortion policy, said the warning to women around the world is clear.
"Obviously this does not simply apply to Chinese women, but to all women. When we're talking about informed consent in the U.S., women need to be informed of the very strong link between abortion and breast cancer," she said.
She said the documentation turns the Chinese policy of one-child limits and forced abortion into secondary women's rights violations. The first violation is when hundreds of thousands of unborn girls are aborted each year in a society that stands on the primacy of males. The second is when an aborted baby girl's mother faces the much higher risk of breast cancer.
Her organization noted the Chinese work was done by a team of epidemiologists from Tianjin Medical University Cancer Hospital.
The study found induced abortion "significantly associated with an increased risk of breast cancer among Chinese females, and the risk of breast cancer increases as the number of IA increases."
Breast Cancer Increasing At An Alarming Rate
Historically, China had had a low breast cancer rate compared to Western nations, but over the last two decades the rate has "increased at an alarming rate," the study said.
The increase was parallel to China's one-child policy, which includes forced abortions, the report said.
"This groundbreaking study reveals yet another human rights violation in connection with China's one-child policy: Forcibly aborted women are also at significantly higher risk of breast cancer," Littlejohn said.
"Not only do the women of China have to endure the tremendous trauma of late-term forced abortion, taking their babies from them; but also, years later, breast cancer, taking their health and even their lives from them," she said.
Littlejohn said the strong association of abortion and breast cancer established by the new study "brings the women's rights violations under the one child policy to a new level: a woman pregnant in China without a birth permit is subjected to both government-imposed forced abortion, and also breast cancer as a result of it."
"Where abortion is forced, the subsequent development of breast cancer becomes a violation of women's rights in itself," she said.
The study looked at 36 articles (two cohort studies and 34 case-control studies) covering 14 provinces in China.
Just months ago, the prestigious Journal of the American Medical Association, JAMA, published a study showing the rate of metastatic breast cancer in women ages 25 to 39 nearly doubled between 1976 and 2009, from 1.53 to 2.9 per 100,000.
The American Council on Science and Health calls the increase "slight." But at the time, Orient pointed out there has been no corresponding increase in older women.
Karen Malec, president of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, said it was "utterly stunning" that lead author Rebecca Johnson's team called the increased incidence in advanced cancers among young women "small."
"That's a nearly doubled increase in the incidence of a disease with a mean five-year fatality rate of 69 percent," she said. "By contrast, the mean five-year fatality rate among women with breast cancers that have not spread to distant sites is 13.2 percent."
And what distinguishes the younger women from the older? The sexual revolution, said Orient.
"Young women in huge numbers have taken higher doses of hormones than their menopausal sisters -- in birth-control pills," she said.
It was in 2005 when the World Health Organization classified oral contraceptives as Class-1 carcinogens, one of only about 100 substances found to be "carcinogenic in humans."
Orient said breast cancer is generally hormone sensitive and is often treated with anti-estrogens. Pregnancy is the most important cause of a high estrogen level.
She noted estrogen increases by 2,000 percent by the end of the first trimester, increasing cancer vulnerability. However, by the end of pregnancy, 85 percent of breast-cancer tissue has become cancer-resistant because of hormones made by the fetal-placenta presence.
That means a completed pregnancy protects against breast cancer. The protection is lost when a pregnancy is aborted, making a woman even more vulnerable to breast cancer.
Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.