Earlier this month, the academic journal Cancer Causes Control published a meta-study analyzing the link between abortion and breast cancer in China. This meta-study pooled the results of 36 separate academic studies on the subject. Chinese public-health data has the ability to offer some unique and important insights about the link between abortion and the risk of breast cancer. That is because the institution of the one-child-per-family policy in the early 1980s dramatically increased the incidence of abortion in China.
Overall, this meta-study provides very compelling evidence that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer. By pooling the 36 studies, it concluded that induced abortion raises the risk of breast cancer by 44 percent. Each of the 36 studies showed a positive correlation between abortion and breast cancer — and for at least 19 of the studies, the correlation reaches conventional standards of statistical significance. Studies with differing methodological approaches arrived at similar results. Also, this combined study provided good evidence that the risk of breast cancer increases as the number of induced abortions increases.
Unsurprisingly, this study has received no attention from the mainstream media. The only outlets that have reported on the study are Christian, conservative, and pro-life media outlets. Of course, the mainstream media lavishes attention on studies which purportedly find that abortion does not pose health risks to women. Twice in late 2010 the Washington Post covered studies which purportedly found that abortion does not increase the risk of mental-health problems. This summer, the New York Times ran an article about the ongoing UCSF abortion turnaway study which wrongly claimed that reputable research does not support the abortion-breast cancer link. Once again, instead of thoughtfully engaging public-health debates about the health risks of abortion, the mainstream media is circling the wagons for their allies in the abortion industry.
— Michael J. New is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Michigan – Dearborn and an associate scholar at the Charlotte Lozier Institute. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_J_New