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The Myth That Abortion Causes Breast Cancer Is Circling Yet Again

Some rumors just don’t go away: Richard Gere shoved gerbils up his butt. The Clintons had their enemies whacked. Abortion causes breast cancer.

A recent study of 300 women from the University of Columbo in Sri Lanka alleges that having an abortion triples a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer. News of this study is primarily being reported (surprise, surprise) on anti-abortion web sites. But it has also made its way onto major news sites, like the U.K.’s Daily Mail. Fortunately, the Daily Mail quoted Dr. Kat Arney, science information manager for the Cancer Research U.K. charity, debunking this myth. “Much larger studies involving tens of thousands of women have shown no significant links between abortion and breast cancer, so the available evidence does not support a link,” Dr. Arney said.

As recently as 2004, the Journal of the American Medical Association published findings that say there is no conclusive link between abortion and breast cancer. Both the U.S. National Cancer Institute and the American College of Gynecologic Practice say there is no link, either. The American Cancer society’s web site, Cancer.org, even devotes an entire page to debunking the myth. If you are curious about the various national and international studies on the topic — and there are many — which disprove the mythical link, I suggest you read Cancer.org’s summary.

So why would this rumor persist? Well, every woman is scared of breast cancer and anti-choice crusaders know that.

[Daily Mail]
[Cancer.org]
[JAMA]

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