.- Citing “confusing and conflicting messages” about the breast cancer risks of abortion and oral contraceptives, a coalition has sent a letter to President Obama and Congressional leaders calling for an investigation of the U.S. National Cancer Institute and the cessation of federal funding for abortion. The Jan. 20 letter was authored by the Coalition on Abortion / Breast Cancer (CABC) and was signed by several doctors and pro-life organizations.
The CABC letter cited the work of National Cancer Institute (NCI) researcher Dr. Louise Brinton. Brinton, the NCI’s Chief of the Hormonal and Reproductive Epidemiology Branch, was a co-author of a 2009 study which reported a statistically significant 40 percent breast cancer risk increase for women who have had abortions.
According to the CABC, the study listed abortion among “known and suspected risk factors.”
The CABC has been critical of a 2003 NCI workshop organized by Brinton that said the non-existence of an abortion-breast cancer link was “well established.” The NCI has updated its web page on the workshop to say “the evidence overall still does not support early termination of pregnancy as a cause of breast cancer.”
The letter from the CABC reported that the web page had not been updated since 2003 until Jan. 12, 2010, soon after press inquiries began concerning the 2009 study. The Coalition questioned whether this change was coincidental.
In the Coalition’s view, the contrast between the results of the 2009 study and the information on the NCI’s web site appears “disingenuous.”
The authors of the 2009 study said their findings were “consistent with the effects observed in previous studies on younger women… induced abortion and oral contraceptive use were associated with an increased risk of breast cancer.”
Other NCI information on the evidence for a connection between breast cancer and oral contraceptives is also outdated, the CABC charged.
“We request that any public funding of abortion be removed entirely from all legislation being considered by this Congress and that Congress also exercise its proper oversight authority and investigate the role of the NCI in communicating information about breast cancer risks to the American public,” the CABC letter read.
Professor Joel Brind, a professor of biology and endocrinology at Baruch College, City University of New York, was a signer of the letter.
Speaking in a CABC press release, Brind said there was a “direct contradiction” between Brinton’s findings and the NCI website. He called on Brinton to respond to the news reports on the 2009 study.
Karen Malec, CABC president, charged that the NCI “puts politics ahead of women’s lives.”
"That's why we're putting both parties on notice of the NCI's misconduct. If they decide to watch women die, instead of cleaning house when we have prima facie evidence of a cover-up, then both parties will have to answer to angry women."