Mike Mastromatteo

The Interim

A leading authority on the link between abortion and breast cancer has criticized the mainstream media and the scientific community for failing to report the true nature of the risk to women’s health.

Dr. Joel Brind, a professor of biology and endocrinology at Baruch College (City University of New York), was in Toronto June 19-20 as part of our tour of Canadian cities. Previously, Dr. Brind visited Ottawa and he later spoke at the National Pro-Life Conference in Edmonton.

In a June 20 interview with The Interim, Dr Brind said 18 of 23 studies show a clear association between abortion and an increased risk of breast cancer. Despite such overwhelming evidence, he said, pro-abortion advocates have persuaded the medical community—and the mainstream media—that proof of such a link is inconclusive.

“If it were anything other than abortion, the brakes would have been up on this situation right away” Dr. Brind said. “But because it is abortion we’re dealing with, the evidence showing the increased risk of breast cancer has been suppressed or discredited.”

Representatives of the Canadian Abortion Rights Action League (CARAL) attended Dr. Brind’s June 19 media conference in Toronto. They distributed literature from the American Cancer Society and the (US) National Breast Cancer Coalition which call current research on the breast cancer-abortion link inconclusive. One item from the National Breast Cancer Coalition read in part, “Until such time that conclusive scientific evidence exists, women should not feel the pressure of misleading propaganda intended to influence their decisions.”

Brind has grown used to his research being dismisses as pro-life propaganda. Not only has he faced personal criticism in attempting to bring his findings to the general public, but some have described his research as nothing more than “a pro-life extremist scare tactic.”

Among Brind’s major findings are choosing an abortion significantly increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer, regardless of the age of the woman or the number of pregnancies. As well, women who abort their first pregnancy double their breast cancer risk. Finally, the risk is present whether the abortion is preferred surgically or through the use of the abortion pill (abortifacients).

The risk of cancer arises sue to the high exposure to the estrogen hormone during pregnancy. The high estrogen levels early in the pregnancy are offset by the production of other hormones later in the term which differentiate the breasts into milk-producing organs. This process leaves breasts less vulnerable to cancer.

When a pregnancy is artificially ended by abortion, the differentiating procedure is terminated and there is no counterbalancing of the high exposure to the estrogen hormone.

Brind said studies showing the abortion-breast cancer link have been undertaken since 1957. Only since 1994 however, have the results began to reach the wider community. He cited a November, 1994 study cancer research Janet Daling which received major media attention, but was immediately attacked on several fronts. Even the National Cancer Institute’s Journal which published the Daling study included an editorial discontinuing the study results.

Brind said several critics of the abortion-breast cancer link refer to a “response bias” whereby breast cancer patients tend to “over-report” abortion. He suggested the response-bias theory is an invention of Planned Parenthood and other pro-abortion advocates who remand determined to undermine research findings.

Brind has been at the forefront of this awareness raising, having published the results of its findings in pro-life journals, and last December, in the National Review magazine. He is looking forward to the fall when the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health is scheduled to publish a “meta analysis” of all abortion advocates to ignore.

Although he is disappointed with the mainstream media and the medical-scientific communities for their treatment of the research, Brind is optimistic that the reality of the abortion-breast cancer link will soon reach the wider population.

“We must count on the integrity of the medical and scientific communities to get the word out,” he said. “Eventually the truth will percolate to pro-abortion people, perhaps even the abortion rights action leagues.”

Despite some recent successes, there are still some obstacles to be faced, Brind said. He referred to a case in Philadelphia where city officials bowed to pressure from pro-abortion advocates and ripped down a series of posters warning women of the abortion-breast cancer link. The case will soon come to trial as a freedom of speech issue.

In the meantime, Brind is doing his part to publicize research findings. He was instrumental in convincing the State of Louisiana to include a reference to abortion’s link with breast cancer in the state’s Abortion: Making a Decision booklet. State law requires that the book be read by all women seeking an abortion in Louisiana.

He has joined forced with American United for life to produce a guidebook for US legislators. The guide is designed to convince lawmakers to enact information consent legislation in all state legislatures. Brind said the states of Montana and Mississippi may soon join Louisiana in requiring all abortion—seeking women to be informed of all the risks associated with the procedure. He expressed hope that Canadian provincial governments will follow suit.

“It’s unfortunate that research such as this has been ignored for political purposes,” Brind told The Interim. “It shows that the abortion industry stands on two false feet: one that the unborn are not entitled to legal protection, and two, that abortion is a completely safe procedure.”