What the Abortion-Breast Cancer Link Means for Women in the Developing World

With a release of a new study in Great Britain, evidence of a link between breast cancer and abortion continues to mount. But who will speak for women in the developing world, victimized by abortion, who will endure untold suffering from breast cancer in the years to come?

By Steve Mosher
Posted: 21 Shawwal 1422, 5 January 2002

The news that breast cancer has now overtaken lung cancer as the most common British cancer came as a surprise to many. Not to Patrick Carroll, however, the author of a new study from Great Britain that links the huge increase in breast cancer to the widespread practice of abortion. Dr. Carroll's study demonstrates that abortion actually doubles the risk of cancer in women.(1)

And the worst is yet to come. In England and Wales the breast cancer rate is expected to rise by over 2 per cent per annum between now and 2023—some 60 percent—among women aged 45 to 49. The total number of breast cancer cases for women of all ages is expected to more than double over the next 26 years. This is largely because, Dr Carroll tells us, of the high rate of nulliparous abortions, that is, of abortions performed on women who have never carried a child to term. "Perhaps as many as 50 per cent of the breast cancer cases of the future will be attributable to abortion," he concludes.

Professor Joel Brind, an endocrinologist at the City University of New York who is perhaps the world's expert on the abortion-breast cancer link, praised the study for its scientific rigor. "Those who undergo abortions clearly have an increased risk, which can be precisely calculated, of contracting cancer of the breast. We are talking about thousands of cases of cancer over the next twenty years. These are very sobering numbers."

"Out of 37 independently published studies, 28 show a causal connection," Brind said. "And of those, 17 provide positive associations that reach statistical significance suggesting a 95-percent certainty that this association is not due to chance. That is scientific evidence which simply cannot be ignored."

Shortly after the publication of Dr. Carroll's study came the news that an abortion doctor in Australia had settled with a breast cancer victim. The woman had sued the abortionist for not telling her about research findings linking abortion to breast cancer. Although a confidentiality agreement prevents details of the settlement from being released, Australian attorney Charles Francis is confident that other cases can be brought against abortionists on the same grounds. "It seemed to me that the evidence [of an abortion breast cancer link] was fairly strong," Francis remarked, "certainly strong enough for a good chance of winning."

Another suit involving the abortion-breast cancer link is moving forward in Australia. "In another case to be heard in New South Wales shortly," Francis said, " 'Mary' is suing a hospital and an abortionist for failure to warn her that she might subsequently have a bad psychiatric reaction and for failure to warn of the increased breast-cancer risk."

Other litigation is pending as well. Assisted by the Thomas More Law Center, three California women are suing Planned Parenthood to force the nation's largest provider of abortions to reveal scientific evidence of a substantial link between induced abortion and increased risk of breast cancer.

In the developed countries, despite access to regular mammary exams and excellent treatment regimens, many of those who develop breast cancer will die. As Dr Carroll remarks of the British situation, "Unless there is a major improvement in treatment, including a reduction in the waiting-lists, the number of women who die from the disease will rise alarmingly."

In the developing world, unfortunately, this grim picture grows much grimmer. Because of the poor state of primary health care, women who get breast cancer are unlikely to have it diagnosed until it has reached an advanced stage. Those who do have it diagnosed are unlikely to get treatment. And even the lucky few who receive the relatively unsophisticated treatments available are unlikely to survive.

By promoting, performing, and lobbying for the legalization of abortion, the International Planned Parenthood Federation claims to be reducing "maternal mortality." Yet "safe, legal" abortion poses many dangers to the mother, not least of which is a greatly increased risk of breast cancer in succeeding years. And in the developing world, breast cancer is a death sentence.


(1) Patrick Carroll, "Abortion and Other Pregnancy-Related Risk Factors in Female Breast Cancer," Pension and Population Research Institute (PAPRI), 4 December 2001. Copies are available from PAPRI at 35 Canonbury Road, London, N1 2DG, UK.

Steve Mosher is the president of Population Research Institute, a non-profit organization dedicated to debunking the myth that the world is overpopulated.