China and other Asian countries have traditionally had a much smaller incidence of breast cancer than Western nations,” FamilyVoice Australia research officer Ros Phillips said today. “Asian women used to marry young, have several children straight away, and breast feed them – all known protective factors against one of the most emotionally devastating forms of cancer.
“But studies are showing that breast cancer cases are skyrocketing in this part of the world – including China. And a recent meta-analysis published in the peer-reviewed journal Cancer Causes & Control (November 2013) has linked the Chinese epidemic to 20 years of a government policy that mandates just one child per family – with forced abortions for women who disobey.”
Abortion found to be a significant risk factor
Abortion is so widespread in China these days that it is hard to find women who have not had one. Any sound research – comparing women who have had an abortion with other women who have not – is problematic, because many in the control group have not had children at all (itself a significant breast cancer risk factor) because of infertility or some other reason.
“The finding of an abortion-breast cancer link by this new meta-analysis is therefore all the more convincing,” Ros Phillips said. “This Chinese study also found that the breast cancer risk increases according to the number of abortions the woman has had.”
Western studies are also hampered by control group difficulties – because there are so many other confounding risk factors in the Western lifestyle, including hormonal contraception, delayed childbearing, obesity and alcohol consumption. Nevertheless, of 74 studies worldwide since 1957, 78 per cent have shown a link between induced abortion and subsequent breast cancer. Recent studies in India and Bangladesh have found that women who have had an induced abortion have a highly significant relative risk of breast cancer – sixfold in the Indian study and twentyfold in Bangladesh. Dr Suraya Jabeen, the lead researcher in the Bangladesh study, has informed Ros Phillips that abortion is the preferred method of birth control in her country.
Ros Phillips said her last media release documenting the abortion risk factor was rubbished by Dr Karl Kruszelnicki of the ABC.
“Western media do not want to know,” she said. “Any research suggesting that abortion could harm a woman’s future health tends to be censored. Whatever happened to our right to give informed consent?”
- Human life and dignity