The Truth About Breast Cancer and Abortion


There has been renewed excitement in the anti-choice, anti-health movement as of late over the potential link between abortion and breast cancer.  Everyone from Jill Stanek to Beliefnet is reporting on what they have decided is proof positive that induced abortion leads to breast cancer. They are writing about these two health incidents as if there now exists a distinct, clear cause and effect relationship between the two, as evidenced by a new study, the results of which were released in April 2009.

The only problem with reporting on this as if anything were new is that, well, nothing is new.

The April 2009 study to which Stanek, Beliefnet and others are referring is entitled, "Risk Factors for Triple Negative Breast Cancer In Women Under the Age of 45 Years" and was undertaken by researchers affiliated with the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, University of Washington’s Department of Epidemiology and the National Cancer Institute. It was published in the April 2009 edition of the Journal of Cancer Epidemiology, Biomarkers and Prevention. An abstract is available for free but if you’d like to view the entire report, you’ll need to purchase it from the Journal

The goal of this paper was to "assess the risk for triple negative breast cancer" (a rare cancer that is found more frequently in younger women and African-American women and unfortunately, associated with a high mortality rate) among women younger than forty-five years old taking into account "demographic/lifestyle factors, reproductive history, and oral contraceptive use" – something for which the data from the previous studies was not analyzed. However, the data used was collected in the mid to late 1980s through 1990. From the paper itself:

The cases included in this study were originally ascertained for two previous studies through the population-based Seattle–Puget Sound Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results cancer registry. Eligible cases from the first study population included all primary invasive breast cancers within the three-county Seattle metropolitan area, diagnosed between January 1, 1983, and April 30, 1990 (ages, 21-45 y).

This paper simply took older information in order to determine whether or not the relationships between breast cancer and other factors (family history, early menarche, induced abortion, etc.) held firm when women were stratified according to those with triple negative breast cancer and those without. 

What did this new study confirm in relation to abortion and breast cancer? The study confirms that there is no variation in risk related to abortion and breast cancer stratified by those with and those without triple negative breast cancer because that’s all the study was mean to undertake in regards to these particular conditions. 

According to one of the researchers and authors of the report, Kathi Malone, "There are no new findings related to induced abortion in this paper because the results of these women were published previously." 

In fact, the only reason abortion was included at all was because it was a factor in the old studies. The main conclusions related to this new research had to do with triple negative breast cancer and oral contraceptive use among younger women. 

So just how exactly are anti-choice publications, blogs and others turning this into new evidence about abortion and breast cancer? By wishing really, really hard it were so. And then writing it down and finding someone to publish it. 

Jill Stanek at World Net Daily headlines her article, "Top Scientist Finally Admits Abortion Breast Cancer Link." Over at Beliefnet, another headline claims "Doctor changes position on abortion-breast cancer link."  The doctor to whom they are referring is one of the researchers and authors of this report, Dr. Louise Brinton with the National Cancer Institute. Beliefnet writes,

"An April 2009 study co-authored by a researcher who has previously
denied an abortion-breast cancer link shows a statistically significant
increase in breast cancer risk among women who have had abortions or
who use oral contraceptives. The study by researchers including Jessica
Dolle of the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research contained a table
reporting a statistically significant 40 percent risk increase for
women who have had abortions. According to the Coalition on
Abortion/Breast Cancer (CABC), the study listed abortion as among
"known and suspected risk factors."

The CABC says that one co-author of the study, U.S. National
Cancer Institute (NCI) researcher Dr. Louise Brinton, had organized a
2003 NCI workshop on the abortion-breast cancer link. That workshop
reportedly said the non-existence of an abortion-breast cancer link was
"well established." 

It is true that in 2003 the NCI convened a workshop with over 100 of the world’s leading experts "who study pregnancy and breast cancer" and Dr. Brinton was one of those experts.  It is also correct that, according to NCI, "They concluded that having an abortion or miscarriage does not increase a woman’s subsequent risk of developing breast cancer." But what is not true is that Dr. Louise Brinton has "changed" her position on the link between abortion and breast cancer, at least publicly, because there is no new information on this link. Again, the study results released last year, on which Dr. Brinton was a researcher, do not include any new information on the overall risk of breast cancer among women who have had abortions. While the National Cancer Institute (NCI) is releasing a "no comment" statement in response to the barrage of poorly reported stories on anti-choice news sites, Dr. Brinton’s co-researcher and co-author, Kathi Malone, is clear about what this and all peer-reviewed studies show thus far on the link between abortion and breast cancer:

"The weight of scientific evidence to date strongly indicates that abortion doesn’t increase the risk of breast cancer."

While older studies have shown a modest increase in risk between abortion and breast cancer, the National Cancer Institute has discounted those studies on their web site for many years and, after a review of the information on their website this week, they are standing by these conclusions- because why? Because there is no new information to be released regarding the risk of breast cancer from a previous abortion. From the NCI web site,

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. Most of
these studies, however, were flawed in a number of ways that can lead to
unreliable results. Only a small number of women were included in many of these
studies, and for most, the data were collected only after breast cancer had
been diagnosed, and women’s histories of miscarriage and abortion were based on
their “self-report” rather than on their medical records. Since then,
better-designed studies have been conducted. These newer studies examined large
numbers of women, collected data before breast cancer was found, and gathered
medical history information from medical records rather than simply from
self-reports, thereby generating more reliable findings. The newer studies
consistently showed no association between induced and spontaneous abortions
and breast cancer risk. 

Extremist, religious anti-choice web sites are using old data from an old study as proof of a cause and effect relationship even while the National Cancer Institute and one of the study’s own authors clearly state that over the course of years of research, including those old studies, overall evidence indicates no connection between the two. 

What this study may lay the groundwork for, however, is further research into a possible connection between oral contraceptives and triple negative breast cancer. It’s something that those falsely reporting on the abortion and breast cancer link have chosen to ignore. The data did show an increase in triple negative breast cancer amongst young women who use oral contraceptives:

The strong association between oral contraceptive use and the risk for triple-negative breast cancer observed in this study and the relative scarcity of such studies to date emphasize the need for future research.

That’s the evidence we should be discussing; the facts worth reporting.


 

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  • prochoiceferret

    What this study may lay the groundwork for, however, is further research into a possible connection between oral contraceptives and triple negative breast cancer. It’s something that those falsely reporting on the abortion and breast cancer link have chosen to ignore.

    Oh, I’ve seen anti-choicers harping on that too, and on this very Web site. Abortion may be their Moby Dick, but they’d also be happy to scare women away from a highly effective form of birth control. For them, anything that increases the risk of pregnancy in recreational sex—and thereby moves women closer to the celibacy-or-motherhood dilemma that they so love—is a plus.

  • soclosetolife

    I am afraid that this is one more situation where anti-choice logic just does not hold up to scrutiny. Their fear campaign spreads the message of a causal link between abortion and breast cancer but denies it between miscarriage and breast cancer. Their own ideology is conflicting here.
    That being said the argument that abortion may or may not be good for your health ignores the reality behind abortion. Abortion could have a link to increased numbers of breast cancer but it should still be legal. The chance of cancer tomorrow does not preclude the reality of unwanted pregnancy today.
    As a society we rarely prevent people from undergoing medical procedures that may compromise their health. We do not tell the cosmetic surgery patient that that one round of anesthesia could kill him and therefore he is not allowed to have his surgery. It is right that we do not force "protections" of these sorts onto the populace because they would be an invasion of bodily autonomy the same way that limiting safe, legal abortion would be an invasion of the bodily autonomy of women.

  • paperispatient

    I’ve read, I believe on a site like Ask Alice or Scarleteen, that the current thinking is that it’s not that oral contraceptive use increases one’s risk of breast cancer but that it increases detection rates, as women have to go to their GPs or gynos for an exam/pap test and the prescription – I know my annual check-up always includes a breast exam. This makes sense to me, and I’m interested in reading more about the subject.

  • amie-newman

    although this study examined the connection specifically between triple negative breast cancer and oral contraceptive use. I think it certainly requires more in-depth investigation to determine whether or not there is a greater risk of this type of (more deadly) breast cancer.

    Thanks for commenting!

     

    Amie Newman

    Managing Editor, RH Reality Check

  • cindyinla

    I’m a 2-time bc survivor and thriver – and have been totally revived by a dvd i just found made for women with breast cancer called ‘The Path of Wellness And Healing.’ It’s like an encyclopedia for breast cancer but it’s also moving, inspiring, the whole nine. Every doctor from deepak Chopra to Dean Ornish is on it and every celeb bc survivor from Sheryl Crow to Melissa Ethridge. So awesome!!!

  • qualine

    The study is not new but Louise Brinton’s matter of fact admission of an ABC link is. Brinton, who is an NCI researcher and was one of the co-authors of this study, was also chief organizer for the 2003 NCI (U.S. National Cancer Institute) “workshop” on “early reproductive events and breast cancer”, the now infamous group that refused to allow all but a handful of studies showing an abortion breast cancer link, and reviewed primarily studies that did not show a link. Since 2003 Brinton’s panel has firmly maintained the position that there is no ABC link, and justified it saying the studies, which had reported such a link, were deemed unreliable even though two of these prior studies were performed by respected NCI researcher Janet Daling (of which one Brinton also was a co-author). Now, in 2009, Brinton is on record saying that these earlier studies, specifically Daling’s study from 1994, that were disallowed by the NCI 2003 workshop panel, were actually correct in that induced abortion (not miscarriage) is a known and suspected risk factor for breast cancer. The finding of a significant ABC link was characterized in very strong terms in this paper. The data table in the study that lists the associations found for “known and suspected risk factors” includes abortion. The study says that the effect of the significant risk factors, including induced abortion, were described as “consistent with the effects observed in previous studies on younger women.” This study clearly supports the existence of the ABC link. The NCI is trying to quietly back off its denial of the ABC link but enough people have caught on to their misbehavior that this is not going to happen quietly.

  • qualine

    Providing the public with facts about the risks to their health by undergoing an abortion is not "preventing" anyone from undergoing an abortion. 

     

    Knowing the facts about the long-term health consequences of having an abortion is a right that every women should have.  Then she will make a truly "informed choice."

  • soclosetolife

    Of course valid information (a group in which the ABC link is not included) is important to ANY and ALL procedures. Unfortunately there is a patriarchal undertone to medicine that presents women as frail, irrational, and in need of decision making skills. It is that attitude that makes information like this dangerous not the idea itself.

  • jill-stanek

    Amie, I expect it is within your pro-choice nature to automatically attempt to refute evidence of an abortion/breast cancer link because you consider it pro-life propaganda.

     

    But your argument now is not with pro-lifers. It is with Dr. Louise Brinton, the National Cancer Institute’s chief of the Environmental Epidemiology Branch, Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics.

     

    Brinton is key because she served as CHAIRPERSON of the infamous (to pro-lifers anyway) 2003 NCI workshop in Bethesda that concluded there is no ABC link.

     

    Six years later Brinton’s name, and her association with NCI, now headline a study that matter-of-factly acknowledges a 40% risk increase in the risk of breast cancer among women who have had abortions.

     

    Now neither NCI or Brinton are commenting, although mainstream (actually liberal) press like Ontario’s Globe and Mail are wanting to know what gives.

     

    Amie, if you came away from reading this study wondering if it “lay[s] the groundwork for… a possible connection between oral contraceptives and triple negative breast cancer,” why do you dismiss its conclusion on the ABC link?

     

    Furthermore, this study didn’t just reshuffle old evidence.
    Triple-negative breast cancer was only identified in 2007. It is particularly aggressive and strikes women usually under 45.

     

    Brinton and her colleagues did triple-negative testing of 897 saved breast cancerous tissue out of 1,286 from 2 previous studies. These findings were the basis for their April 2009 published study.

     

    If you’d like me to email you a pdf of that study, I have it.

     

    Thanks,
    Jill

  • qualine

    Have you ever had an abortion?  Have you ever been so scared, feeling you had no one to turn to that you just believed the lie that an abortion would make everything “normal” again.  If you had been through what I had been through, you would understand that most women in this position are scared, panicked, irrational and very vulnerable to the patriarchal way that the abortion industry handles their situation.  Most of the time women never even meet the abortionist until the procedure.  The only input I received from the college Student Health worker was, “Why did you wait so long?”  Have you ever laid on a table to undergo an abortion with tears streaming down your face and heard the doctor sigh in disgust?  Have you?  Have you ever been haunted by the fact that the abortionist who performed your abortion was disgusted that you “waited so long?”  I wish some one had cared enough to take me aside, calmed me down, explained my options, explained how horribly emotionally scarred I would be and that I was placing my future health in jeopardy.  The scientific and testimonial evidence that abortion harms women for life is colossal.  You are part of a “The Big Lie That Is Abortion” if you hold any other position. 

  • julie-watkins
    What you describe seems to be almost a "back alley" abortion. I’m surprised a doctor in a college clinic would act like that. Where I had my abortion the doctor was much more caring and if I had been upset or acting conflicted I don’t think they would have proceeded.
    I think it’s unfortunate that abortion & women’s clinics have been marginalized and forced out of general hospitals & OBY/Gyn practice. I don’t hear of the kind of scandals happening in Canada that sometimes happen in USA (though not as frequently as Life Site would like me to believe). That’s because there’s no abortion laws in Canada, it’s handled by medical standards. An unethical/unprofessional doctor — or any unethical/unprofessional medical staff – is much more likely to be found out if s/he’s in a setting that allows more oversight.
  • julie-watkins

    In which one or a few posters insisted that Hospitals Are Safer … because of some statistics, the accuracy of which were debated hotly. However, the bottom line was that the pregnant woman’s decision often had more to do with known financial burdens. (Many women supported midwife better for reasons the Hospitals Are Safer side won’t accept) But the financial risks couldn’t be waved away.

    There might be a small (debated) medical risk … but the cost diferental was huge, and isn’t the woman herself the best judge of her own trade-offs?

    It’s the same situation with the debated link with cancer. When a woman or girl is seaking an abortion she’s usually most concerned with her current situation, not something that might or might not happen decades in the future, and is much less likely than, what?, getting hurt in an auto accident?

  • heather-corinna

    I want to make sure that you know that if no one DID sit down with you and outline your possible health risks before you consented to your procedure, you absolutely could (and IMO, should) make a case for medical malpractice. Medically, we cannot have legal consent if a person was not informed about what they were consenting to in full.

     

    What you’re describing here is absolutely not typical abortion care or standards of care when we are talking about modern-day, legal abortion. Women coming to get abortions from most providers DO (and should) get counseling, ARE fully informed of their possible health risks, and are not treated the way you describe by any staff. At all the clinics I am familiar with, or have worked at or with, any doctor or staff member that asked a woman why she waited so long would, at the very least, find themselves with a very harsh warning when it came to keeping their job, and the woman it was said to would be the recipient of a serious apology by staff and management.

     

    I’m terribly sorry this was the experience you had, Qualine, and doubt it will make you feel much better to know this is not the way abortion goes with most providers. But I hope you can at least consider that presenting what happened to you as a norm for all women or providers isn’t likely to help assure that the quality of care most providers do have, and the quality of service most women do receive,  remains very different from your experience.

  • prochoiceferret

    If you had been through what I had been through, you would understand that most women in this position are scared, panicked, irrational and very vulnerable to the patriarchal way that the abortion industry handles their situation.

    Hmmm… that doesn’t seem right. Let me make some corrections:

    If you had been through what I had been through, you would understand that I was scared, panicked, irrational and very vulnerable to the patriarchal way that my abortion provider handled my situation.

    Yeah, that sounds a lot more accurate. You had a crappy abortion provider. It’s a lot like having a crappy dentist, in that one bad dentist doesn’t mean that all dentists are bad.

    I wish some one had cared enough to take me aside, calmed me down, explained my options …

    Pretty much all abortion clinics have a counselor on hand whose job is exactly this. What clinic did you go to that did not?

    … explained how horribly emotionally scarred I would be and that I was placing my future health in jeopardy.

    Oh, so you didn’t want real abortion counseling—you wanted to be scared with guilt and misinformation into not having an abortion. Crisis pregnancy centers are very happy to provide that.

    The scientific and testimonial evidence that abortion harms women for life is colossal.

    Then you should have no problem telling us where it is, because I’ve never managed to find it.

    You are part of a “The Big Lie That Is Abortion” if you hold any other position.

    Yeah, well, if you don’t agree with me, you’re a poopyhead. Nyah! :-P

  • amie-newman

    thanks for commenting. I appreciate the offer to email the study – I have it and read it through. 

    What this study did – which is what I write above – is take old data and essentially drop it into a new framework so that researchers could discover whether or not certain factors – oral contraceptives being the biggest one – contributed to higher risk of triple negative breast cancer  vs. non triple negative breast cancer. This study did not in any way dredge up ANY new information regarding the potential link between abortion and breast cancer on the whole. The study concluded that there was no variation in risk between triple negative and non triple negative breast cancer amongst women who had previous abortions.

    And, as I wrote above, the initial studies found a modest increased risk of breast cancer not separated by type of breast cancer and this new study showed no variation in this modest risk when cases were stratified by non triple negative and triple negative breast cancer.

    That said, the evidence that there is a cause and effect relationship between induced abortion and breast cancer is far from solid. The evidence, over years and years of research points to exactly what the researcher and author on this report from whom I received a statement says and what Dr. Brinton’s employer, the National Cancer Institute’s web site still says: "the evidence overall still does not support early termination of pregnancy as a cause of breast cancer." 

    Read what I’ve written. Read the NCI web site, just reviewed this week for accuracy, and come to your own conclusions. But what you are writing is simply inaccurate, Jill. Dr. Brinton has not changed her mind. NCI has not changed its position. This study has not found out anything new AT ALL about the link between abortion and breast cancer. 

    Thanks for commenting and for the opportunity to discuss this!

     

    Amie Newman

    Managing Editor, RH Reality Check

  • amie-newman

    Julie, thanks for commenting. I hadn’t thought of it in those terms but it is an interesting perspective. I think, again, what’s important to note is that the NCI does not believe that – taking all of the scientific evidence into account thus far -induced abortion increases the risk of breast cancer. But I agree that we want to contextualize the idea of "risk" and ensure that women are provided with as much information as possible to the make the best decisions we can!

     

    Amie Newman

    Managing Editor, RH Reality Check

  • qualine

    Ft. Collins, Colorado.  1978.  Oh, it was very "clinical" and done in doctors’ office.  Not back alley at all.  "Back Alley" is a euphamism that is overused by the prochoice movement to make everyone feel like abortion is really okay now.  Mine was very "safe!"  But, in fact, I was a zombie and no one even noticed.  Then, afterwards, the doctor promptly put me on birth control pills so "this wouldn’t happen again!"  Never explained to me how THAT might harm my health. 

     

    Thankfully, I got out of the situation I was in, married a wonderful, caring man and I only took the OCPs for about six years.  I later gave birth to three more beautiful, healthy children, which I breast fed, so hopefully, I have countered the risk. 

     

    The point is…I had no idea about the oncoming train I was headed into.  I should have been fully informed.  But I wasn’t   Sure, mine was in 1978 and not as much was known about the harmful after effects.  But we are 30 years down the road and I will say again, "The scientific and testimonial evidence that abortion harms women for life is colossal.  You are part of a ‘The Big Lie That Is Abortion’ if you hold any other position."

  • heather-corinna

    The thing is, I can’t hold that position because it would mean I would have to lie about all the women who have not felt or expressed that abortion has harmed them for life.  Heck, it’d mean I have to lie about myself and my own experiences with both abortion and pregnancy.

     

    The only truthful thing I can say about abortion in that respect, particularly having talked to so many women about it, is that women’s experiences with abortion and how it impacts our lives varies.  As far as heath goes, since health risks with delivery are 10 times greater than those of legal, first-trimester abortion (and if we’re talking about breast cancer, there are increased risks of that with more than one pregnancy scenario), the only truthful statement I can make in that respect is that pregnancy, no matter what choice women make with it, always will pose potential health risks. And those are the things I do say.

     

    Standards of care with abortion have changed a whole lot since the 70′s.  Unfortunately, back then, with abortion just coming out of legal hiding, you were much more likely than women are now to receive poor care.  Again, I’m so sorry that you did.

  • qualine

    The risks of pregnancy are already well known and well publicized on the breast cancer web sites.

     

    The risks of abortion are now well known and are NOT well publicized on the breast cancer web sites.

     

    Tell women the truth so they can make a fully informed choice. 

  • qualine

    Appreciate your perspective.  Your methods, however, are pretty insensitive and childish. 

  • heather-corinna

    I’m fairly certain no one here has any control over what those sites say. 

     

    Certainly, there must be a reason why they don’t list abortion as a known or validly suspected breast cancer risk, right, and why they do say the things that they do about known or validly suspected risk factors like delivery after age 35, like hormone replacement therapy, like diet or genetics?

     

    Have you written in and asked them why they do not list abortion? Or read what some of them say about abortion, miscarriage and breast cancer?

     

    Just so you know, for those of us who work in abortion services, we sit down with women and make clear all of the known and proven health risks with abortion before they consent to a procedure.  That’s standard abortion care. 

  • julie-watkins

    And that of the rest of your staff, which is why I keep revisiting. Here’s another analogy:

     

    Someone trying to sell me insurance I don’t need. OK, so I’m calling "member services" to validate my new credit card since the old one expired, and — since there’s a time delay "while the system verifies" (HA!) — I get sales pitches to get this & that so I won’t have to pay minimum payments if I lose my job or go on disability (but it wouldn’t stop the accumulating of finance charges) … and it really stupid. It’s very unlikely that it would do me any good, but it would be very good for the credit card company’s profits if they can figure out a way of convincing lots of their cardholders to buy the junk insurance.

     

    In the same way, if the anti-abortion groups can get abortion-minded girls and women all scared about an unlikely future event, then their agenda is furthered.

  • jill-stanek

    Amie,

     

    Thanks for responding. You cannot say the authors have not changed their minds. They may say one thing but they wrote another. They specifically stated in the study there is an abortion/breast cancer link. I probably went way too far into the weeds this morning cutting and pasting exactly what they published, here:

     

    http://www.jillstanek.com/archives/2010/01/rh_reality_chec_1.html

     

    They did not publish a "modest increased risk of breast cancer." Its ratio was 1.4, or 40% increased risk following abortion.

     

    It makes total sense that their new testing of tissue for triple-negative cancer would bear identical results to non-triple negative and all breast cancer, given the etiology of ABC.

     

    This is that pregnancy increases estrogen release to the breasts for milk production. I think you and I agree estrogen is a proven Class I carcinogenic, according to the WHO.

     

    After 32 weeks of pregnancy breast cells differentiate, providing a mother with additional protection against breast cancer. I think you and I agree with data showing full-term pregnancies protect against breast cancer, because differentiated cells do not become cancerous.

     

    When a mother terminates her pregnancy, the previous enhanced production of estrogen has merely produced more undifferentiated cells  to potentially become cancerous.

     

    That is why we see 1.4 ratio increase across the board re: abortion/breast cancer.


    However, it appears oral contraceptives actually cause cells to mutate, which is why the study showed a spike in triple-negative breast cancer with women who had been on the Pill as compared to other forms of breast cancer.

     

    Thanks for the forum, Amie. Someday… coffee…

  • crowepps

    This is that pregnancy increases estrogen release to the breasts for milk production. I think you and I agree estrogen is a proven Class I carcinogenic, according to the WHO.

     

    After 32 weeks of pregnancy breast cells differentiate, providing a mother with additional protection against breast cancer. I think you and I agree with data showing full-term pregnancies protect against breast cancer, because differentiated cells do not become cancerous.

     

    When a mother terminates her pregnancy, the previous enhanced production of estrogen has merely produced more undifferentiated cells  to potentially become cancerous.

    If your explanation for why ending a pregnancy early increases the risk of breast cancer is indeed correct, how do you explain the fact that the exact same biological events occur during spontaneous abortions and yet there doesn’t seem to be any relationship at all between previous miscarriages and breast cancer?

     

  • qualine

    Since the majority of early spontaneous abortions are due to faultly hormone levels (i.e., the hormone levels never reach that of a normal pregnancy) the breast lobules do not undergo the changes to the same degree they do with a normal pregnancy.  This is why miscarriage and induced abortion are not the same event with respect to the breasts.  Premature birth before 32 weeks is a known risk of breast cancer for the same reason that abortion increases risk – the loss of the protective effect of the pregnancy with regard to the breasts. 

    I cite the following studies that support hormonal effects difference between miscarriage and induced abortion:

     1.         Bland IE, Copeland, EM. The Breast: Comprehensive management of benign and malignant diseases, 3rd ed. Saunders 2004. (Ch.3. Breast physiology: normal and abnormal development and function).

     2.         Vatten LJ, et al. Pregnancy related protection against breast cancer depends on length of gestation. Br J Cancer 2002;87:289-90.

     3.         Daling JR, et al. Risk of breast cancer among young women: relationship to induced abortion. J Natl Cancer Institute 1994;86:1584-1592.

     4.         Russo J, et al. Developmental, cellular, and molecular basis of human breast cancer. J Natl Cancer Institute Monographs. No. 27, 2000;17-37.

     5.         Russo J, et al. Cancer risk related to mammary gland structure and development. Microscopy Research and Technique 2001;52:204-233.

     

    I cite the following studies that support premature delivery risk increase of breast cancer:

    1.                              Melbye M, et al. Preterm delivery and risk of breast cancer. Br J Cancer 1999;80:609-13.

    2.                              Vatten LJ, et al. Pregnancy related protection against breast cancer depends on length of gestation. Br J Cancer 2002;87:289-90

    3.                              Hsieh C, et al. Delivery of premature newborns and maternal breast cancer risk. Lancet 1999;353:1239.

    4.         Rooney B, et al. Induced abortion and risk of later premature births. J Am Phys Surgs 2003;8:46-49.

  • princess-rot

    The scientific and testimonial evidence that abortion harms women for life is colossal.

    Have you ever thought that bearing an unwanted child could not only harm a woman for life but also ruin the child’s life too?

  • nycprochoicemd

    The majority of early spontaneous abortions are *not* the result of abnormal hormone levels, but rather the result of chromosomal abnormalities of the embryo.  

     

    We hypothesize that because there’s an association between number of pregnancies and length of pregnancies and breast cancer risk, the reason is the influence of hormones.  We don’t know if this is the real cause or if there’s something else affecting it.

     

    I would also point out that although pregnancies are associated with decreased breast cancer risk, they are also associated with increased risk of stroke, dangerously high blood pressure, fatal blood clots, severe anemia, and seizures due to pre-eclampsia.   

  • nycprochoicemd

    Ms. Stanek consistently confuses association with causation.  The study she cites did show an association between history of induced abortion and incidence of triple negative breast cancer.  As many others have stated, this kind of retrospective analysis is meant to generate hypotheses, not to draw conclusions about causality, due to the many biases inherent in a case-control study technique.  The association seen in this study does not imply causation (the first rule of epidemiology).

    Also keep in mind that many other better-designed studies have failed to show such an association, and that by design all statistical methods will give us a "false positive" about 5% of the time, that is, 5% of the time we will find a significant difference when in fact there is none; this study could well be that one in 20 finding a difference when there is none.

     

    Her statements about "differentiated cells" have no basis in fact; they are hypotheses. We don’t understand the details of why and how breast cancer develops.  In addition, the idea that oral contraceptive pills cause cell mutations is completely ridiculous and shows her lack of understanding of basic physiology.  Oral contraceptive pills have the same hormones in them that we make ourselves.  The way they work is to fool our body into thinking it’s making hormones, thus preventing ovulation.

  • prochoicegoth

    She also confuses fact and fiction, along with fantasy and reality. The woman cannot be trusted. 

     


    It’s pro-choice or
    NO choice.

  • jill-stanek

    NYCprochoiceMD wrote, "the idea that oral contraceptive pills cause cell mutations is completely ridiculous and shows her lack of understanding of basic physiology."

     

    NYC is wrong. The authors of the discussed study wrote (emphasis mine), "In conclusion, significant heterogeneity exists for the association of oral contraceptive use and breast cancer risk between triple-negative breast cancer and non-triple-negative breast cancer among young women, lending support to a distinct etiology."

     

    The study results were an epidemiologist’s dream. Usually it is difficult to ascertain causation of maladies at first. But in this case the results were so dramatic, researchers concluded that contraceptives were a likely cause (no one is saying the only cause) of triple-negative breast cancer. And this is quite something, because recall triple-negative breast cancer has only been described in the literature since 2007.

     

    And this makes sense. NYCprochoiceMD incorrectly wrote, "Oral contraceptive pills have the same hormones in them that we make
    ourselves.  The way they work is to fool our body into thinking it’s
    making hormones, thus preventing ovulation."

     

    In fact, The Pill is composed of ARTIFICIAL progesterone and/or ARTIFICIAL estrogen. This is the way it has to be to keep the liver from breaking them down before they enter the bloodstream.

     

    For instance, read the ingredients of Yaz (http://www.yaz-us.com/consumer/about_yaz/index.jsp). It is composed of drospirenone, an artificial progestin (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drospirenone) and ethinyl estradiol, an artificial estrogen (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ethinylestradiol). All hormonal contraceptives are composed of ARTIFICIAL female hormones, i.e., artificial steroids.

     

    And the study authors conclude oral contraceptives are causing breast cells to mutate ("distinct etiology," according to study authors).

     

    Thanks, Jill

  • jill-stanek

    Crowepps and NYCprochoiceMD,

     

    NYC got it a little right when writing, "The majority of early spontaneous abortions are *not* the result of abnormal hormone levels, but rather the result of chromosomal abnormalities of the embryo."

     

    Miscarriages usually occur because something is wrong with either the baby or the mother.

     

    Whichever it is, the body either responds to or initiates inadequate levels of pregnancy-sustaining estrogen and progesterone to sustain it…. nature’s way. 

     

    It is lowered progesterone (known as "the pregnancy hormone") that prompts the actual miscarriage by making the uterus impermeable to the developing baby (easy reading on the role of progesterone in pregnancy here: http://www.crinoneusa.com/patients/progesterone_role.html)

     

    Likewise, the ovaries (which also release progesterone in early pregnancy) release lowered amounts of estrogen to the breasts in the case of abnormal pregnancies.

     

    Thanks, Jill

  • jill-stanek

    NYCprochoiceMD wrote, "Her statements about ‘differentiated cells’ have no basis in fact; they are hypotheses. We don’t understand the details of why and how breast cancer develops."

     

    NYCprochoiceMD and pro-abortion ideologues ignore the obvious to the peril of women. Here’s what Susan B. Komen (http://ww5.komen.org/breastcancer/loweryourrisk.html)  and (I hope) NYC agree on. These all have to do with increased and decreased exposure to carcinogenic estrogen, and greater or less likelihood of breast cell mutation. Read them and the dance becomes obvious:

     

    1. Early full-term pregnancies protect against breast cancer

     

    2. Delayed full-term pregnancies (after ~ age 35) increase the risk of breast cancer

     

    2. The more full-term pregnancies the better to guard against breast cancer

     

    3. Women who do not children are at increased risk for breast cancer

     

    4. Breastfeeding protects against breast cancer

     

    And yet abortion, they say, has nothing to do with anything. On its face, this is illogical.

     

    Two additional facts they’ll admit to that also have to do with increased and decreased exposure to carcinogenic estrogen, and greater or less likelihood of breast cell mutation: 

     

    1. The earlier an adolescent begins menstruating increases her risk of breast cancer

     

    2. The later a woman stops menstruating increases her risk of breast cancer

     

    Thanks.

  • jayn

    Another way of looking at it is that how many kids a woman chooses to have will affect her chances of getting cancer, which may or may not be affected by having an abortion.  I can’t speak for others here, but I would consider that to be a pretty minor consideration when it comes to reproductive choices.  There are many other factors which take precedence, and personally this is not something which would influence the decision for me towards having kids.  As serious as cancer is, having a child is far too big a responsability to take on for that reason alone.

     

    From what I’m reading, there’s no difference between having an abortion and not getting pregnant at all on this issue.  So unless you’re advocating that women have kids as early and often as possible (which I’d still disagree with, but would better fit the evidence), you don’t really have an argument.

  • jill-stanek

    Jayn,

     

    Do you or do you not advocate informed consent?

     

    The point is to fully inform women so they can make fully informed decisions on when and whether to procreate, including the abortion option.

     

    At this point pro-abortion ideologues are covering up a vital piece of information – the link between abortion and breast cancer.


    Thanks.

  • jayn

    Yes, I advocate informed consent.  However, it appears to me that abortion doesn’t increase the chances of breast cancer, but that having children decreases it.  Slight difference, but significant.  So unless you’re saying that women shouldn’t use birth control at all (including abstinence, since that also prevents pregnancy), I really don’t see an argument here.

  • qualine

    Additionally, abortion is a risk factor for breast cancer independent of the loss of the protective effect of full term pregnancy. It is an independent risk factor for the disease because an abortion leaves the woman’s breasts with more places for cancers to start. Just as a premature birth before 32 weeks gestation increases risk of breast cancer, so does abortion. The studies cited in my earlier post that demonstrate the premature birth/breast cancer link provide additional biological support for an independent link between abortion and increased breast cancer risk. To clarify, all healthy pregnancies greatly increase exposure to estrogen. The key about the breast cancer risk is when the pregnancy ends. Full-term pregnancy causes the breasts to develop cancer-resistant cells (during last 8 weeks of pregnancy) due to hormones produced by the fetus and placenta. Premature birth before 32 weeks or an abortion prevents the process of cancer-resistance from developing because birth of/removal of the child from the womb halts secretion of protective hormones. It is the fetus and placenta that secrete the hormones in the last eight weeks of a healthy pregancy necessary for differentiation of the breasts (cancer-resistance). Remove the fetus, either by premature birth before 32 weeks or by abortion and the woman is left with more places in her breasts for cancers to form. As already discussed in other posts, an early first full-term pregnancy (FFTP) is most protective. Even Leslie Bernstein,Ph.D., who served as the lead moderator of the often cited NCI 2003 Workshop, "Early Reproductive Events and Breast Cancer," agrees that "The biggest bang for the buck is the first birth, and the younger you are, the better off you are." Of course, Dr. Bernstein also said, "I would never be a proponent of going around and telling them that having babies is the way to reduce your risk. I don’t want the issue relating to induced abortion to breast cancer risk to be part of the mix of the discussion of induced abortion, its legality, its continued availability." Hmmmmmm….now that’s reassuring (not!)

  • qualine

    Pregnancy changes a woman’s breasts by increasing the number of lobules in the breasts.  A healthy, full-term pregnancy provides protection against breast cancer because the process of differentiation changes the increased number of lobules in the woman’s breasts from cancer-vulnerable to cancer-resistant.  An abortion or premature birth before 32 weeks prevents or interrupts the process of differentiation from occurring because the source of the hormones for the differentiation process come from the fetus and the placenta.  Remove the fetus and placenta, either by abortion or premature birth before 32 weeks and you remove the possibility of differentiation, thereby leaving the breasts with more places for cancers to start.   

  • crowepps

    1. Early full-term pregnancies protect against breast cancer

    Unless you’re advocating that all teenagers should be encouraged to complete a preventative full-term pregnancy at 16, this isn’t particularly ‘protective’.

    2. Delayed full-term pregnancies (after ~ age 35) increase the risk of breast cancer

    Ditto above.

    2. The more full-term pregnancies the better to guard against breast cancer

     

    3. Women who do not children are at increased risk for breast cancer

    I can’t think of a more selfish reason to have children.  Are you actually advocating that women who don’t want to raise children should have them anyway because it lowers their breast cancer risk?  Poor kids!

     4. Breastfeeding protects against breast cancer

    Breastfeeding is only protective if it lasts 1.5 to 2 YEARS.

    And yet abortion, they say, has nothing to do with anything. On its face, this is illogical.

    No, not illogical, since all those other things happen over a period of many years, and in most cases women only have one abortion during their life.  And of course, the link to the birth control pill has pretty strong with first generation pills that contained a lot more hormone, and which no one actually takes anymore.

     

    Interestingly, the risk of breast cancer is ALSO increased by use of alcohol, smoking, obesity and lack of exercise.  Factors which women have a lot more control over than they do when their period starts and ends.  Being really proactive about breast cancer would be to give up the ciggies, stop slurping down the booze, pry ones fat fundament off the couch and get the extra pounds pared off.  In addition, that would prevent a multitude of OTHER diseases that middle-aged American women are prone to, but since those sensible steps can’t be connected to their sex lives, no one’s getting all hysterical about them. 

     

    The risk factor that most choose not to dwell upon is that breast cancer risk increases with age, so the protective step that works the best is dying young.  There’s certainly a logical reason why all those pregnancies are protective — after all, the risk of developing breast cancer before age 60 is 4.5% but the risk of pregnancy complications in each pregnancy is 15%, and ectopic pregnancy alone is over 2%.   Multiple pregnancies raise the risk of any individual woman suffering from complications so they might be protective because she doesn’t live long enough to get breast cancer but instead wears out early.

    From birth to age 39, one woman in 231 will get breast cancer (<0.5% risk);

    from age 40–59, the risk is one in 25 (4% risk);

    from age 60–79, the risk is one in 15 (nearly 7%).

    Assuming you live to age 90, the risk of getting breast cancer over the course of an entire lifetime is one in 7, with an overall lifetime risk of 14.3%.

    http://www.breastcancer.org/risk/myths/

    And by the way, I find the phrase "carcinogenic estrogen" really inflammatory.  85% of women never get breast cancer at all.  Are we so freaked out by the thought of cancer for the less than 15% of mostly old ladies (who have an 80% survival rate after diagnosis) that all of a sudden normal female hormones are described as carcinogens?  Do we have our 2.3 children and then have our ovaries removed just in case? 

  • julie-watkins

    I agree with Heather Corinna,

    I want to make sure that you know that if no one DID sit down with you and outline your possible health risks before you consented to your procedure, you absolutely could (and IMO, should) make a case for medical malpractice. Medically, we cannot have legal consent if a person was not informed about what they were consenting to in full.

    As I said, my abortion (1981) wasn’t at all like that, so I don’t think it’s “a lie”, but a difference of opinion. Reputable clinics will not proceed if a woman is acting conflicted. A person on another blog who is staff at an abortion provider tells stories of how she gets yelled at often by mothers of pregnant teenages when the (grand)mother wants an abortion done and the pregnant teenager wants the baby when the staff member cancels the surgery appointment. Thank you for not advocating that abortion be made illegal.

  • nycprochoicemd

    Since when did "distinct etiology" translate to cell mutation?  The authors find that there is something different about triple negative breast cancer, suggesting a distinct etiology as compared with more common breast cancers.  That doesn’t mean that oral contraceptives caused cell mutations.

  • jill-stanek

    Crowepps,

     

    Frankly, your opinion about the known ways to increase or decrease one’s risk of getting breast cancer is inconsequential. Facts are facts, and women can do with them as they please, including mocking and ignoring them, such as you apparently plan to do.

     

    The point is to arm women with the facts. If you are truly pro-"choice" and not pro-abortion, you will want women to know ALL the facts about abortion so as to make an educated decision.

     

    As for your complaint that the terminology "carcinogenic estrogen" is  "inflammatory," you’ll have to take that up with the National Cancer Society (http://www.cancer.org/docroot/PED/content/PED_1_3x_Known_and_Probable_Carcinogens.asp) and the World Health Organization (http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Classification/crthgr01.php).

     

    Thanks.

  • julie-watkins

    On http://www.jillstanek.com/archives/2010/01/abortionbreast.html#more your opinion is

    If and when mainstream science openly acknowledges the ABC link, the fallout will be enormous

    From my point of view, 3 times "tiny" is still "tiny", so I think the above is an acknowledgement that the anti-abortion people will, in the interest of "want[ing] women to know ALL the facts about abortion so as to make an educated decision" will be much more scaremongering in crises pregnancy centers about "you’ll Tripling Your Risk" as if Cancer Will Happen, rather than it’s a higher slight risk. I write "scare-mongering" even if you think it "mocking and ignorning" to "discount" risks, because (based on previous reports) CPC’s aren’t neutrally giving pregnant women and girls information so they can make "educated decisions", the CPC’s advocate for pregnancy.

  • I repeat, 3 times "tiny" is still "tiny"
  • Continuing on the themes of Crowepps risk factors, I would like to see a comparison of "the risks of abortion" compaired to the risks of with women becoming jobless/homeless

  • because they were fired when the boss discovered they were pregnant?
  • because they were fired when they missed work due to their pregnancy?
  • because they couldn’t pay the rent because of pregnancy costs?
  • because the local shelters & socail aid weren’t fully funded and their waiting lists were too long?
  • I believe the woman herself is the best person to decide, based on her own situation. I think how you talk about brest cancer risk reminds me of a telemarketer trying to sell me on the wonders of whatever-he’s-selling. I may not do me much good, though he’s going to all the different ways it will Change My Life. I don’t think you’re trying to sell "how to prevent brest cancer" — see crowepps, there’s a lot of other factors that have a much larger danger — so much as you are trying to sell pregnancy.

  • crowepps

    Well, obviously the way to protect women from the carcinogen their bodies insist on producing is to get those ovaries taken out as young as possible.  And, of course, if they are given the ‘facts’ about the risks of pregnancy, most of them will welcome that because they will want to avoid that health risk as well.  I would think people who are pro-choice are just as interested in giving women information as anyone else, the difference is that we aren’t willing to just make it up.

     

    Of course, I’m not a doctor or a medical researcher or a reproductive biologist, but then, neither are you.  So I guess both of our opinions are equally inconsequential.  At least I’m not trying to trick women into getting and staying pregnant because of some weird idea that’s the sole reason for their existence.

  • yourhumanrights

    The 2003 NCI meeting never listed its participants, nor even dared make public the vote on the conclusion. In addition, they tried quite hard to keep some participants’ views quiet. They failed in that attempt. You have to really look for the link on their site, but I’ll post it here:
    http://www.cancer.gov/cancer_information/doc.aspx?viewid=15e3f2d5-5cdd-4697-a2ba-f3388d732642
    "The participant remains "convinced that the weight of available evidence suggests a real, independent, positive association between induced abortion and breast cancer risk." In a general statement, the participant noted that the workshop summary report contained no comment of dissent."
    Science is supposed to be "open source," but somehow this is shrouded in mystery. The results, participants, and vote should all be public info for all the world to see. I am not saying it is a slam dunk either way.
    BUT, women should be informed that if they have not had a child yet, aborting their pregnancy will increase breast cancer risk by delaying their first birth. This FACT is NOT told to women at clinics not due to any science – but based only on the politics of anti life lobbyists. So it should be no surprise to anyone that they don’t want anyone to notice when a lead scientist disagrees with her own findings, then doesn’t want to talk about it.
    The FACTS are that when the pill arrived in 1960, breast cancer was a rare disease that affected one in 25 American women. By 1973 and Roe/Wade, it had climbed to one in 14. After the ensuing years awash in both steroids and abortions, it now is one in 8 – the worst breast cancer incidence rate IN THE WORLD. And if you take a look at breast cancer rates worldwide, the highest numbers are a who’s who of countries that embraced the pill and then abortions wholeheartedly back in the 60′s and 70′s.
    The majority of country by country numbers worldwide show it, the majority of scientific studies show it, it makes perfect sense biologically.
    http://bcpinstitute.org/home.htm
    Why would breast cells transforming themselves to produce milk NOT be adversely affected by the very unnatural end of a pregnancy they trying to support?!
    The anti life folks are having to plug more and more holes in this dike now, and they are running out of options. This is yet another example of how mercilessly they will cover up science with their cruel politics that has already harmed and killed so many unsuspecting women.

  • yourhumanrights

    …and they are owned by none other than the very pro abortion folks at the New York Times..

    http://breastcancer.about.com/b/2010/01/08/abortion-birth-control-pills.htm

    I’ll copy doctor Rooney’s comment here.

    Hello Pam Stephan,

    I am a medical researcher with my main focus
    on premature birth risk factors and a side
    interest in breast cancer. Do prior IAs (Induced
    Abortions)increase breast cancer risk? To
    keep this manageable, let me only address the
    Breast Cancer risk to CHILDLESS women of having
    induced abortions:

    1. If a woman ends her reproductive life childless
    she has higher breast cancer risk than if
    she had a delivery under age 30 years. One
    way to remain childless is to have induced
    abortions of all pregnancies (with could be
    as few as one or two).

    2. According to Harvard U. researchers, each one
    year delay in a First Full-Term Pregnancy
    (FFTP) boosts relative BC (Breast Cancer) risk
    by 3.5% (compounded);i.e. a 5 year delay in FFTP
    relative risk by 19% and a 10 year delay
    in FFTP elevates rel. risk by 41%. If ‘Anne’
    is first time pregnant at age 20, has an
    induced abortion of that pregnancy, but goes
    on to have a full-term delivery at age 30
    her relative BC risk is 41% compared to having
    had a full-term delivery at age 20. (The Harvard
    U. study was published in the International
    Journal of Cancer 1983, volume 31,pages 701-704;
    newer studies just confirm this 1983 study)

    3. More than one prior IA more than doubles
    a woman’s risk of having a delivery at age
    35 or above according to a 2001 study of
    French women published in the BJOG (British
    Journal of Obstetrics & Gynaecology).

    ……………………………………….

    I dare any doctor or medical researcher to contra-
    dict anything I have written above.

    For Peaceful Pregnancies,
    Brent Rooney (MSc)
    Research Director, Reduce Preterm Risk Coalition
    3456 Dunbar St. (Suite 146)
    Vancouver, Canada V6S 2C2
    web: http://www.jpands.org/vol13no4/rooney.pdf

  • prochoicegoth

    The anti life folks

     

    Must you lifers TRY to demonize those of us who want women to be able to CHOOSE whether or not to carry to term? If we were anti-life, we would want everyone and everything to die, including ourselves. As far as I know, I’m neither homicidal or suicidal. 


    It’s pro-choice or
    NO choice.

  • princess-rot

    I cannot think of a worse reason to have a child than having one for a vague medicinal purpose. It’s time people started caring about actual women’s lives, rather than using serious disease as a stick to bully us into fitting their agenda, whether that is "save the boobies" or "save the babies". There is also no guarantee you wouldn’t get cancer elsewhere in the body, nulliparous or not.

  • qualine

    Give women and young girls all of the information regarding abortion and pregnancy so that their "CHOICE" is an informed one. Just like we do with Cialis, Viagra, Lunesta, Lipitor, Evista, Elavil, Boniva …. Gallbladder surgery, hernia surgery, cosmetic surgery, lap band surgery, and on and on and on….. and none of the diseases associated with these drugs, or these surgeries take a human life in the process of "treating" the disease. Pregnancy is not a disease. Breast cancer is and one of the most preventable risk factors for it is abortion.

  • crowepps

    Pregnancy is not a disease. Breast cancer is and one of the most preventable risk factors for it is abortion.

    Except, of course, that abortion is not actually a risk factor for breast cancer.  The ‘most preventable’ risk for breast cancer is not having children when you’re a teenager, but I wouldn’t recommend doing that anyway, because it only makes a small difference in whether you get breast cancer.

  • prochoiceferret

    Give women and young girls all of the information regarding abortion and pregnancy so that their "CHOICE" is an informed one. Just like we do with Cialis, Viagra, Lunesta, Lipitor, Evista, Elavil, Boniva …. Gallbladder surgery, hernia surgery, cosmetic surgery, lap band surgery, and on and on and on…..

    How many lap-band surgery protests have you been to? Do they have signs like "Belts belong on your pants, not your stomach!" "Gastroesophageal reflux = God’s wrath!"

    and none of the diseases associated with these drugs, or these surgeries take a human life in the process of "treating" the disease.

    How dare you say that a hernia is not human life? It’s human, is it not? (It’s hasn’t exactly got dog DNA now, does it?) And it’s alive, yes? (Before it is cruelly ripped away from life-giving blood vessels.) Ergo, it’s human life, and the surgery KILLS it!!!

    Pregnancy is not a disease. Breast cancer is and one of the most preventable risk factors for it is abortion.

    But it’s silly to say that women should carry unwanted pregnancies to term just because of a small, possibly-nonexistent risk factor, of course, so I’m guessing you’re all about comprehensive sex education and easier access to contraception. Perhaps there’s some "common ground" we can agree on after all….

  • crowepps

    How dare you say that a hernia is not human life? It’s human, is it not? (It’s hasn’t exactly got dog DNA now, does it?) And it’s alive, yes? (Before it is cruelly ripped away from life-giving blood vessels.) Ergo, it’s human life, and the surgery KILLS it!!!

    I understand what you’re trying to say here, but I’m afraid a hernia is not a growth of some kind but rather the protrusion of an organ or part of an organ through a gap or tear in the abdominal wall.  They are not ‘removed’, but instead the good stuff is poked back where it belongs and the gap or tear is repaired.

    http://www.emedicinehealth.com/hernia/article_em.htm

     

    Your point certainly applies to most cancerous tumors, however, which indeed have DISTINCT HUMAN DNA and are ALIVE and are KILLED when they are removed.  Never seen a picket around for them. 

  • crowepps

    Just like we do with Cialis, Viagra, Lunesta, Lipitor, Evista, Elavil, Boniva …. Gallbladder surgery, hernia surgery, cosmetic surgery, lap band surgery, and on and on and on….. and none of the diseases associated with these drugs, or these surgeries take a human life in the process of “treating” the disease.

    Actually, a lot of these diseases and the treatment for them do indeed take a human life. All of these medications occasionally cause adverse reactions and death and a lot of people die during surgery. I hate to break it to you, but even with the best medical treatment in the world, eventually everybody actually does die.

     

    And pregnancy may not be a ‘disease’ but the complications from it certainly are, complications which can be and are fatal.

  • prochoiceferret

    I understand what you’re trying to say here, but I’m afraid a hernia is not a growth of some kind but rather the protrusion of an organ or part of an organ through a gap or tear in the abdominal wall. They are not ‘removed’, but instead the good stuff is poked back where it belongs and the gap or tear is repaired.

    Ah, nuts. Now the antis are going to claim that pro-choicers are evidently ignorant of basic medical facts, based on my ferrety misstep (that’s nothing, we regularly run into walls when we’re happy!) and not your regular dispatches from Realityville, Planet Earth =^_^=