Women's Group Rebukes Minnesota Governor, Health Department for Eliminating Abortion-Breast Cancer Information from Website

Karen Malec
April 20, 2004
Reproduced with Permission

The Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer rebuked Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty and Health Department Commissioner Dianne Mandernach for eliminating language on the department's Web site about research supporting abortion as a risk factor for breast cancer. The revision was based on an article in the British journal Lancet by Valerie Beral and her colleagues. Beral's team falsely claimed to have conducted a "collaborative" review of abortion-breast cancer (ABC) research.[1] Beral inaccurately told reporters her team found no evidence of increased risk for the disease among women choosing to abort.

Beral's team is a recipient of funds from the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), a population control agency actively involved in China's forced abortion campaign.

"Did Mandernach read the review?" asked Karen Malec, the group's president. "If so, she knows Beral's team reported a significant 11% risk elevation among abortion-positive women in the retrospective research and a significant 7% risk decrease among abortion-positive women in the prospective research."

Beral's team detected the increase, even after using unscientific reasons to eliminate 10 out of 16 published, peer-reviewed, retrospective and prospective studies reporting significant risk increases. Most of the research remaining in Beral's review included 28 unpublished, and, therefore, never peer-reviewed studies.[2]

The latest health department statement reads, "Findings from earlier studies suggested there was an increased risk of breast cancer among women who had an abortion. In March 2003 the National Cancer Institute (NCI) released a consensus report finding no link between abortion and breast cancer. An additional report issued in March 2004 by a cancer research group at Oxford University also indicated there is no link between abortion and breast cancer."

The previous statement read, "Findings from some studies suggest there is an increased risk of breast cancer among women who had an abortion, while findings from other studies suggest there is no increased risk." A link was added to a U.S. government document described by one scientist as "a big fix" - the NCI's supposed "consensus" report.

"The governor has lost his political courage," said Mrs. Malec. "Consequently, 'pro-choice' girls and women will die. It's deplorable there's so little concern for abortion-minded children."

An NCI-commissioned study revealed that girls under age 18 who procure abortions are in a high risk group for breast cancer, especially if they have a family history of the disease.[3] An abortion leaves them with what physician-Congressman Dave Weldon calls a "health care time-bomb."[4] By contrast, a landmark World Health Organization study in 1970 reported that those who have their first child before age 18 have one-third the breast cancer risk of those who delay their first birth until age 35 years or older.[5]

"The coalition encourages abstinence before marriage," said Mrs. Malec, "but an already pregnant woman has a right to know the recognized, protective effects of childbearing."

Experts agree that abortion causes breast cancer in one of two ways. It deprives women of the most effective means of risk reduction - increased childbearing, starting early, and breastfeeding. [5,6,7,8,9] A pregnancy lasting at least until 32 weeks gestation is the only mechanism that matures breast cells into cancer-resistant tissue. Even Beral's team determined that increased childbearing and breastfeeding would reduce breast cancer rates by one-half.[6]

"The teen who obtains an abortion today will be wearing pink ribbons and marching in cancer walks in years to come," predicted Mrs. Malec. "The governor calls himself 'pro-life,' but he's not pro-life for women."

The Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer is an international women's organization founded to protect the health and save the lives of women by educating and providing information on abortion as a risk factor for breast cancer.


  1. Beral V, Bull D, Doll R, Peto R, Reeves G. Lancet (2004) 363:1007-16.
  2. Brind J. "Only fuzzy math can make the ABC link disappear." (April 13, 2004) See article at http://www.AbortionBreastCancer.com.
  3. Daling J, et al. J Natl Cancer Inst (1994) 86:1584-92.
  4. U.S. Rep. Dave Weldon, MD. Letter to colleagues. "Informed Consent: Women's Right to Know About the Breast Cancer and Abortion Link." August 24, 1999.
  5. MacMahon B, et al. Bull WHO (1970) 43-209-21.
  6. Beral V, Bull D, Doll R, Peto R, Reeves G. Lancet (2004) 363:1007-16.
  7. Graham C. J Natl Cancer Inst (1998) 90:814-823.
  8. Trichopolous D, et al. International J Cancer (1983) 31:701-704.
  9. Parkins T. J Natl Cancer Inst (1993) 85:1997.