One of the more disputed claims of the pro-life movement is that abortion increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer, and more abortions increase that cancer risk exponentially. This claim is controversial because many see it as a scare tactic or threat that will “make” a woman keep her child out of fear for herself. But is that really why pro-life advocates would mention the link between abortion and breast cancer?
This is a misunderstanding of the purpose and tone of the vast majority of pro-life advocates. In fact, the pro-life movement includes not only heartfelt care for the right to life of pre-born children, but also genuine care for the women who carry these children. We already know a woman who has an abortion is at greater risk of depression, suicide, and substance abuse, and now we’re also going to suggest a greater risk of breast cancer? Well yes, as it turns out, abortion isn’t good for anyone, anytime, regardless of what anyone may say to the contrary.
Evidence exposed in the documentary film Hush discusses this link in detail, as does work done by The deVeber Institute for Bioethics and Social Research. Dr. Angela Lanfranchi is one of the prominent voices in this discussion, as she has studied the possible connection in her practice for years. Since abortion has been legal and widely practiced for almost 30 years in Canada, and a bit longer in the United States, we are now starting to see the true long-term effects of abortion on women.
Abortion cuts out a pre-born life while a woman’s body is in the midst of major hormonal shifts in anticipation of caring for that life. Some of those hormonal changes directly impact her breasts, as they get ready to produce milk. Ending a pregnancy while that tissue is changing, but not giving it time to complete that change, leaves it particularly susceptible and vulnerable to cancer. Conversely, carrying a pregnancy to term decreases a woman’s risk of breast cancer, as the hormonal changes that are allowed to complete their course leave the breast tissue more resilient against cancer than they were prior to pregnancy.
A full term pregnancy, especially for young women, can result in breast tissue changes that make up to 85% of the tissue essentially immune to cancer. The note that this is especially true for young women is important, as abortion frequently has the effect of delaying child-bearing to a later age, adding to the increased risk.
This does not apply only to women who have abortions, of course. The same science applies to those who never have children, as evidenced in breast cancer rates among nuns, as well as in those who experience miscarriages or premature births before 32 weeks’ gestation. But the fact remains: abortion is one of the causal factors in increasing your risk of breast cancer. Isn’t that something someone who is genuinely pro-life would tell you, out of care and concern for both your pre-born baby and you? Shouldn’t someone who is pro-choice also be willing to tell you that? As a woman, isn’t that something you would want to know as you made your “choice”?