Doctors Could Tell Women That Abortion Causes Breast Cancer Under New Hampshire Bill

Another day, another new height reached in WTF-ery: New Hampshire’s state House has advanced a bill that would require doctors to give women “informational materials” before an abortion that “that inform the pregnant woman that there is a direct link between abortion and breast cancer.” Even though there isn’t.

This scare tactic just doesn’t go away, does it? Excuse me while I facepalm for the next three hours. 

The New Hampshire bill (which refers to the fetus as a “child” or “unborn child” throughout) mandates a 24-hour waiting period before an abortion, as well as requires that doctors provide certain “informational materials” to women before terminating a pregnancy.

But these “informational materials” must be gathering their “information” from anti-abortion advocates,  because it includes two paragraphs that directly contradict the medical community’s findings on the breast cancer/abortion — namely, that there isn’t one.

Here’s the language of the bill, which has the rather Orwellian description of being “An Act Relative To The Woman’s Right To Know Act Regarding Abortion Information”:

It is scientifically undisputed that full-term pregnancy reduces a woman’s lifetime risk of breast cancer. It is also undisputed that the earlier a woman has a first full-term pregnancy, the lower her risk of breast cancer becomes, because following a full-term pregnancy the breast tissue exposed to estrogen through the menstrual cycle is more mature and cancer resistant.

In fact, for each year that a woman’s first full-term pregnancy is delayed, her risk of breast cancer rises 3.5 percent. The theory that there is a direct link between abortion and breast cancer builds upon this undisputed foundation.

Sounds scary, doesn’t it? It’s a good thing a little organization you may have heard of called the American Cancer Society says it isn’t true. The National Institutes of Health and the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, too. I refer you now to this handy-dandy fact sheet on called “Abortion, Marriage and Breast Cancer Risk.” Feel free to read the whole thing, but here’s the pertinent part:

… [S]tudies consistently showed no association between induced and spontaneous abortions [aka miscarriages] and breast cancer risk.

Be morally opposed to abortion. That’s fine. I may not agree with you, but you’re entitled to your opinion. But it boggles my mind that politicians would think it’s acceptable to LIE to women about cancer. (Though I should not be so surprised given how so-called “crisis pregnancy centers” have openly admitted to saying whatever they need to say, even lies, to prevent women from aborting.)

And so I facepalm. I liked it better when anti-abortion folks just held exorcisms.

[Think Progress]


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