Abortion and breast cancer: a struggle to link them.
One would not think that there could be much prolife/pro-choice polarisation in the world of science. This is not the case. Professor Joel Brind of New York and his team published his famous 1996 study, in which he meticulously reviewed and analyzed the world literature on this topic up to that time. The vast majority of the studies showed a link between induced abortion and breast cancer. In response, some tried to ignore the findings and others tried to find ways to discredit them.
This Brind study has, however, been acclaimed and considered sound by a great many respected authorities, including the renowned Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists of London, Great Britain.
Since this study came out, thirty-three more papers have been published on this topic (14 from the U.S.A.). Of the 33, 27 papers have affirmed this link, the risk in general being about 30%, but rising to 50% for women having an abortion with their first pregnancy. (The higher risk with first pregnancy women is very much in line with the biological research.)
In the not too distant past, debate raged in scientific circles about whether there was a link between smoking and lung cancer; this is now settled. The participants in this controversy had to make their decisions on statistics only for most of that time, because biology did not help much till near the end of the study.
But in this matter of abortion and breast cancer, modem biology and the study of breast cells have shown us that a full-term pregnancy unquestionably gives a significant level of protection. When a pregnancy is artificially ended (aborted), the breast cells are in a transitory and immature state, and they are abnormally vulnerable to carcinogens and prone to become malignant. To me and many others, these biological findings are dramatically convincing and lend further credence to the statistics.
I have already spoken about Professor Joel Brind. He deserves a few more words. He has done more than anyone else to further this cause, highlighting the risk that women run unknowingly. He was born in the Bronx, New York. From an early age he was fascinated by the study of science. By the age of 10, he had decided to become a cancer researcher. It was not long after this that he read an article about the cells of the body. In his own words, "The article maintained that by solving the mysteries of the cell, biochemists could ultimately cure cancer. Then and there I decided to become a biochemist." Thus, he narrowed down his scientific goal. "Twenty years later, almost to the day, I received my Ph.D. in biochemistry."
Brind was raised a secular Jew, but in 1985 he converted to Christianity after talks and instructions with a Methodist minister. He has remained a strong Christian, a man of prayer, and a resolute pro-lifer. His brilliance and hard work meant that his rise in the world of academic science was rapid; he became Professor of Biology and Endocrinology at Baruch College, City University of New York, at a comparatively young age.
In 1992, research led him to the following conclusions: "I became convinced of three things 1) Induced abortion is indeed a risk factor for breast cancer 2) The connection between induced abortion and breast cancer was being actively suppressed, and 3) Bringing this life-saving knowledge into public awareness was my job."
In the 1980's and 1990's there was mounting evidence of this abortion-breast cancer connection. It was not only pro-life researchers who were uncovering this. For instance, in 1994, solid confirmation arose from a strongly pro-abortion source when Janet Daling and colleagues published a similar study.
In 1996, Brind and colleagues completed their famous above-mentioned meta-analysis, published in the British Medical Association's Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. Brind's findings, based on the world literature on this topic, were impressive. This was the breakthrough he had sought. However, shortly after its publication, his paper was attacked ruthlessly and unfairly by certain U.S. institutions, medical journals, and the mainstream press, which did not like to see anything derogatory about abortion. Their prejudice was immediately apparent. The very unreasonableness of the opposition's arguments has made Dr. Brind more determined to continue.
I am afraid we do not live in a perfect world. Brind's conclusions incriminating induced abortion did receive publicity, especially in North America. Thanks to the complicity of the mainstream media, however, few are aware of the ABC connection. The more influential North American medical journals, out of fear, go to unbelievable lengths to suppress the data. I am one of many who can vouch for that. They blindly use the "Melbye" study from Denmark (which has obviously some serious flaws) as a plausible argument to end further discussion.
In the meantime, women are undergoing abortions without anyone informing them of these risks. So much for informed consent. Time and prayer are on our side. We will just have to be persistent, patient, and above all, faithful.
Patrick G. Coffey M.D., F.R.C.S.(C), D.(Obs)RCOG, is a retired general surgeon. He lives in Bowmanville, ON
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|Date:||Jan 1, 2003|
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