LA Times Weaves Around Abortion Risks, Waxman 'Study,' and Planned Parenthood

February 18th, 2007 10:43 PM

A February 11, 2007, front-page article by Stephanie Simon in the Los Angeles Times discounts the possible link between induced abortion and breast cancer (ABC). Simon also promulgated the questionable claim that crisis pregnancy centers (CPC's) "gave misleading information" in an undercover investigation conducted by abortion supporter Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) last year. Finally, the story also downplayed Planned Parenthood's role as the nation's leading abortion provider.

Although the focus of the article is the funding of pro-life crisis pregnancy centers, Simon wrote:

U.S. Rep. Henry A. Waxman (D-Los Angeles), an abortion rights supporter, last year asked undercover investigators to contact 23 crisis pregnancy centers; 20 gave misleading information, such as exaggerating the risk of abortion, he reported. In Austin, the diocese hands out a booklet — approved by the state — that suggests a link between abortion and breast cancer, though the National Cancer Institute has found no such connection.

Waxman and Simon failed to inform the public that one organization, the National Cancer Institute (NCI), does not have the final say on the abortion-breast cancer issue.

Here are some sobering facts that Waxman and Simon have not divulged.

  • In 2005, a journal article concluded, "[T]o accept [NCI's] conclusion, one needs to dismiss almost half a century’s worth of data which do show a significant link between abortion and an increased risk of breast cancer." (link, pdf) (emphasis mine)
  • "As of 2006, eight medical organizations recognize that abortion raises a woman's risk for breast cancer, independently of the risk of delaying the birth of a first child (a secondary effect that all experts already acknowledge). An additional medical organization, the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, issued a statement in 2003 calling on doctors to inform patients about a 'highly plausible' relationship between abortion and breast cancer." (See (emphasis mine)
  • A 2006 article explained "the breast physiology and the epidemiologic criteria supporting the ABC link." It also stated, "Out of 40 world wide studies done to date, 27 show a positive association." (Read it here (pdf).)

Needless to say, assertions of a link between abortion and an increased risk of breast cancer are not unfounded. Several medical authorities support the claim.

In researching this article, I found something very interesting. Planned Parenthood, the leading abortion provider in the United States, is listed as a resource on NCI's web site. Hmmm. What is the relationship between these two groups? (Discuss amongst yourselves.) (See the listing here.)

In addition, Waxman's report also claimed that CPCs gave "misleading information" by highlighting the negative effects on women's mental and emotional health following an abortion. Again, the claim that there is a link between abortion and mental health issues can be supported. For instance:

  • A 2006 paper stated, "Recent research from Norway and New Zealand has reported an association between abortion and subsequent mental health problems. Although the two reports are not the first to suggest such a relationship, they are well-designed studies suggesting that abortion may be linked to negative mental health reactions for some women." ("Uninformed Consent: Abortion and Mental Health Consequences," (pdf) by Warren Throckmorton, Ph.D.)
  • A 2002 article about a study in the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry reported that both "early and delayed psychiatric episodes ... are significant risks associated with abortion." (link)
  • Another 2002 article reporting on a study from the British Medical Journal wrote "that women who abort a first pregnancy are at greater risk of subsequent long term clinical depression compared to women who carry an unintended first pregnancy to term." (link)
  • Psychologist Wanda Franz, Ph.D. testified before the House Human Resources and Intergovernmental Relations Subcommittee of the Committee on Government Operations on March 16, 1989 about the psychological impact of abortion. "Women who report negative after-effects from abortion know exactly what their problem is…they report horrible nightmares…terrible psychological pain." (link)

More information on the emotional effects of abortion can be found at the web site for the Elliot Institute, One can also read testimonies from women who have had abortions at the site for Silent No More Awareness. See also here and here.

Finally, the Times' Ms. Simon wrote this about Planned Parenthood in her article:

Tax dollars going to Planned Parenthood do not pay for abortions; they cover birth control, gynecological exams, cancer screening and treatment for sexually transmitted diseases. When clients come in with unwanted pregnancies, they hear about all of their options, including keeping the baby and giving it up for adoption. But critics say there can be a presumption that abortion is the easier solution.

Simon is correct that tax dollars do not directly pay for abortions. However, Simon might have wanted to include the fact that Planned Parenthood is the leading abortion provider in the United States. In 2004-2005, for every one referral for adoption they made, they performed 180 abortions. That year, they ended the lives of 255,015 unborn humans (link). Somehow these facts didn't make it into Simon's article.