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Dr. Michael New: Media ignores abortion-breast cancer studies they don’t like

Last month, Washington Post fact-checker Michelle Ye He Lee conducted an analysis of the link between abortion and breast cancer. To the Post’s credit, Lee’s analysis is fairer than most media coverage of this topic. Lee acknowledges that academic studies dating back to the 1950s show that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer. Lee also contacted both the American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists (AAPLOG) and the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute (BCPI), both of whom support the abortion–breast cancer link. Lee presents both their arguments and links to their studies.

That said, Lee is clearly skeptical of the link. She finds persuasive the conclusions of a 2003 workshop held by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Its final report held that methodologically sound studies showed no association between induced abortion and increased breast cancer risk.

Unfortunately, there is less here than meets the eye. Scholars who supported the abortion–breast cancer link were not invited to make formal presentations at the NCI workshop. Furthermore, the new research that was presented at this workshop was neither available to other researchers nor peer-reviewed.

~ Dr. Michael New, First Things, June 12

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