To the Editor,
How ironic that such credence be given by the Washington
Post ("Pregnancy centers found to give false
information on abortion", Marc Kaufman, July
18) to a "minority report" by House Democratic
staff criticizing information about ill health effects
of abortion; information disseminated by Care Net
pregnancy resource centers nationwide. The minority
staffers' relied mainly on the majority opinion of
a 2003 "expert panel" of the National Cancer
Institute (NCI), which concluded that "abortion
is not associated with an increase in breast cancer".
The irony is in the fact that both the second-hand
minority Congressional report and the third-hand Kaufman
article ignored the minority report of the 2003 NCI
expert panel, a report which I wrote from my own first-hand
experience as one of the invited experts on the panel.
The NCI quoted from my report in its website summary
of the panel's conclusions, but omitted any reference
to its author or the means to obtain its full text.
This omission, however, is hardly surprising, considering
that the minority report unequivocally documents that
the "expert panel" was a political charade
designed to cement, as official policy, the denial
of abortion-breast cancer link (ABC link).
Although billed by the NCI as "workshop"
which would conduct a "comprehensive review",
the panel was set up with such broad coverage of "early
reproductive events" and such time constraints
(two full days) that there was no time for any sort
of thorough review of extant data. Outrageously, the
presentations of data on the ABC link were entirely
one-sided, only given by experts who claim there is
no good evidence for it. All the several experts in
attendance who acknowledge the ABC link were either
assigned presentations on other topics or not allowed
to make any presentations at all. Moreover, new data
claimed to constitute evidence against the ABC link
were explicitly withheld from examination by invited
experts such as myself, even upon specific public
These facts about the NCI "workshop" are
verifiable by checking the textual and video archives
available on the NCI website (www.cancer.gov) by anyone
who cares to dig for the real facts under the misleading
and false conclusions that Mr. Waxman's staff and
the Post relied upon. The full text of my minority
report is available on our website (www.bcpinsitute.org).
My own thorough and up-to-date (December 2005) peer-reviewed
review of the recent literature on the ABC link is
also available on line (http://www.jpands.org/vol10no4/brind.pdf).
Women who choose abortion are indeed substantially
more likely to get breast cancer than women who do
not choose abortion. It took many years before the
NCI and the World Health Organization finally admitted
that birth control pills increase the risk of breast
cancer. How many more women must suffer and die from
this dreaded disease before those agencies and organizations
admit that abortion is also a preventable cause? Kudos
to Care Net for being willing to brave politically
motivated retribution to tell women the truth and
save precious lives.
Joel Brind, Ph.D.,
Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, 9 Vassar Street,
Poughkeepsie, NY 12601
1-866-622-6237; Best contact phone number: 914-805-9215