Agenda Over Women's Health: LAT Continues Abortion Falsehoods
In the article, "Abortions down 25% from peak" (Thu. 1/17/08), the Los Angeles Times continues their practice of propagating abortion falsehoods. But their faulty reporting exceeds simple factual errors. Their falsehoods put women's lives in jeopardy.
In a passage on the activities at pro-life crisis pregnancy centers, the author of the article, Stephanie Simon (more on her below), writes,
Some of the material given to women at such sessions [at these centers] is false or misleading -- for example, warnings that abortion raises the risk of breast cancer or causes post-traumatic stress disorder.
First - The Times and Simon, despite the loads of evidence contradicting them, continue to deny the numerous studies asserting the link between abortion and an increased risk of breast cancer ("ABC" = "abortion-breast cancer"). They are wrong to do this, and we have cited Simon and the paper on this very issue before (here and here). In addition, as recently as three months ago (October 2007), a major study conducted out of England concluded that abortion is the "best predictor" for developing breast cancer. (See also this.)
Abortion defenders (like the Times and Simon) like to point to a 2007 study by Harvard researchers that deny the ABC link. However, the study has been found to contain "serious methodological concerns [that] cast doubt on the validity of the overall result" (source). (See also this and this.) Likewise, a widely reported 2003 workshop by the National Cancer Institute (NCI) that claimed to deny the ABC link has also been found to be seriously faulty. The NCI workshop has been tagged as a "scam." Rather than seeking the truth, it was perceived that "eradicating the ABC link was really the sole purpose of the meeting." (Source) (See also these important notes from the Breast Cancer Prevention Institute.)
Second - The Times is also grossly irresponsible to deny that abortion causes post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) in many women. For starters, a 2004 article in the Medical Science Monitor on post-abortive women concluded that 65% of American women in the study experienced multiple symptoms of PTSD and 14.3% "met the full diagnostic criteria for PTSD." (Rue VM, Coleman PK, Rue JJ, Reardon DC. Induced abortion and traumatic stress: A preliminary comparison of American and Russian women. Med Sci Monit, 2004 10(10): SR5-16). Since 2001, several peer-reviewed studies have found a connection between abortion and adverse effects on women's mental health (source/source). (More info at: The Silent No More Awareness Campaign; Rachel's Vineyard; the Elliot Institute; and the book Forbidden Grief: The Unspoken Pain of Abortion by Theresa Burke.)
It should be extremely unsettling that the Times and Ms. Simon continue to prioritize political agenda over honesty and women's health. We've reported several times on Simon's journalistic malfeasance on the abortion issue. (See here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.) Why can't the Times and Ms. Simon stop their misinformation campaign? Don't they realize lives are at stake?
Ms. Simon and the Times should take to heart the words of Dr. Janet Daling. Dr. Daling is a pro-choice doctor who was commissioned by the NCI in the 1990's to study the issue of abortion and breast cancer. Her 1994 NCI journal article did indeed affirm an ABC link. And because of her findings, she was excoriated by abortion defenders. Here is what she told the Los Angeles Daily News in 1997 (link):
I have three sisters with breast cancer, and I resent people messing with the scientific data to further their own agenda, be they pro-choice or pro-life. I would have loved to have found no association between breast cancer and abortion, but our research is rock solid, and our data is accurate. It's not a matter of believing, it's a matter of what is.
And another "matter of what is" is that the Los Angeles Times continues to propagate falsehoods on the abortion issue.