The purported link between breast cancer and abortion has been
widely and repeatedly rejected by Australia’s medical
organisations including the Royal College of Obstetricians and
Gynaecologists, the Australian Cancer Council, the Breast
Cancer Network of Australia and the Australian Medical
Association as well as American organisations the National
Breast and Ovarian Cancer Centre, the National Cancer Institute
and the American Cancer Society.
The link has also been rejected by the World Health
“We think the doctors, scientists and heartbroken women
featured in the Hush documentary put forward a serious
case that women have the right to have scientifically
She rejected the terms “pro-life” or “pro-choice”, which she
said were “polarising”, and described her organisation, which
she said has 2500 subscribers, as “pro-woman”.
Wong sent BuzzFeed News links to evidence that “having children
[was] associated with a decreased risk of breast cancer” but
did not respond to questions about why this would apply
specifically to a woman who had terminated a pregnancy and not
any woman who had chosen not to have kids.
The Australian Christian Lobby has promoted the Women’s Forum
event which will take place
“We have a common interest in certain issues that affect women…
faith and religion are not part of our mandate, but anyone is
free to promote our events,” Wong said.
“If there is evidence emerging that abortion and breast cancer
is linked and we deny it for political purposes, future
generations will pay the price.”
Two referenced a 2013 “meta-analysis” study, which has been
dismissed by the Cancer Council of Australia.
The third was to
an article from anti-abortion news agency LifeNews.com,
which claimed 12 Indian studies had found women who had
terminated a pregnancy had a 554% increased risk of developing
“The longer you delay pregnancy the higher your rate of breast
cancer,” Gentles said.
But Australian doctors say the claims are wrong.
“This line of reasoning, which is really grotesque, suggests
that if women really want to protect their breasts 50 years
down the road they should have a baby at 13,” obstetrician and
gynaecologist Dr David Grime told the filmmakers.
“Certainly women sometimes inadvertently read about this myth
on a website that looks as though it is giving credible
information but is not,” Bateson said.
“There is no causal link between breast cancer and abortion.
It’s incredibly disingenuous and potentially damaging for
anti-abortion groups to try and leverage the already high
levels of concern about breast cancer in their scare campaigns
on abortion, which is one of the safest and most common medical
procedures performed in Australia, with cherry-picked data and
debunked studies,” Kate Marsh of reproductive health
counselling service Children by Choice told BuzzFeed News.
“People considering abortion or battling breast cancer have
enough to deal with already, without this incredibly
transparent attempt to promote feelings of fear or guilt about
their reproductive health choices.”
Australia’s largest provider of pregnancy termination services,
Marie Stopes International, also said it rejected the link when
contacted by BuzzFeed News.