Summary of New Meta-analysis by Huang et al.
on Abortion-Breast Cancer Link

 

By Professor Joel Brind

Science Adviser, Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer

Co-founder, Breast Cancer Prevention Institute

Professor of Biology and Endocrinology,
Baruch College, City University of New York

November 30, 2013

 

A new systematic review and meta-analysis of abortion and breast cancer (ABC link) in China was just published 4 days ago in the prestigious, peer-reviewed international cancer journal, Cancer Causes and Control. In this meta-analysis (a study of studies, in which results from many studies are pooled), Dr. Yubei Huang et al. reported that, combining all 36 studies on the ABC link in China that have been published through 2012, the overall risk of developing breast cancer among women who had at least one induced abortion was significantly increased by 44%. These results, said the authors, "were consistent with a previously published systematic review". That review was the one I published in the British Medical Association's epidemiology journal with colleagues from Penn State Medical Center in 1996, which study reported an overall significant 30% increased risk of breast cancer in worldwide studies.

Since the our study came out in 1996, the "mainstream" abortion advocates entrenched in universities, medical societies, breast cancer charities, journals, and especially, government agencies like the National Cancer Institute (In reality, the NCI is just another corrupt federal agency like the IRS and the NSA.) have relentlessly targeted the ABC link with fraudulent studies and other attacks, culminating in a 2003 international phony "workshop" by the NCI, which officially declared the ABC link non-existent. Since 2003, armed with this new official "truth", NARAL and their ilk have viciously been attacking pro-life pregnancy resource centers (PRCs) for "lying" to women by telling them about the ABC link as a reality. In places like Maryland and New York City, they even went so far as to enact laws to muzzle the PRCs. Thankfully, the courts have struck down such laws as violations of free speech rights--so far.

But the new Chinese meta-analysis is a real game changer. Not only does it validate the earlier findings from 1996, but its findings are even stronger, for several reasons: 

1. The link is a slightly stronger one, i.e., 44% v. 30% risk increase with abortion; 

2. It shows what is called a "dose effect", i.e., two abortions increase the risk more than one abortion (76% risk increase with two or more abortions), and three abortions increase the risk even more (89% risk increase with three or more abortions). Risk factors that show such a dose effect have more credibility in terms of actually causing the disease.

3. Huang et al. state: "The lack of a social stigma associated with induced abortion in China may limit the amount of underreporting". Putative underreporting of abortions by healthy women has been routinely invoked to discredit the ABC link--the lack of credible evidence notwithstanding. This line of attack—variously called the "response bias" or "recall bias" or "reporting bias" argument, has now been neutralized.

4. Huang et al. explain why two earlier high-profile studies in Shanghai did not find the link, essentially by citing and extending arguments I had articulated in the British Journal of Cancer in 2004. In that published letter, I explained that the Shanghai population was unsuitable for studying the ABC link in the usual manner, because the prevalence of induced abortion was so high (greater than 50%) in the general population. Huang et al. provided strong evidence for that explanation, by performing what is called a meta-regression analysis of all the Chinese studies, which meta-regression showed that the more prevalent abortion was in the study population, the lower risk increase associated with abortion.

5. The Huang study follows right on the heels of two new studies this year from India and Bangladesh, studies which reported breast cancer risk increases of unprecedented magnitude: over 600% and over 2,000%, respectively, among women who had any induced abortions.

Finally, the new Chinese meta-analysis follows on the heels of the recent decisions of the US 10th Circuit Court of Appeals which upheld the religious freedom rights of companies wanting to opt out of Obamacare, since Obamacare insurance funds contraceptive steroids and abortions. The Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer and the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute filed amicus curiae briefs for these cases, briefs which were specifically cited in the 10th Circuit's decision with respect to the cancer-causing effects of these steroid drugs (innocuously referred to as "the pill", in common parlance). At least two of these cases have just been accepted by the US Supreme Court for review in their next session.