Senator Eric Abetz
“I don’t have that scientific expertise” but he simply reported the fact that many studies do “assert that there is a link”.
A Mexican wave of moral indignation swept through the chattering class this month in Australia
“when the hypothesis was raised of a link between abortion and breast cancer.“
We heard, in shrill tones, that claims of such a link are “factually incorrect” (blogger Mia Freedman), “absurd” (Simon Breheny of the IPA) and even “an insult to all women” (Greens MP Adam Bandt). With the arrival this week of breast surgeon and cancer researcher Dr Angela Lanfranchi
to speak to this hypothesis, we can expect a resurgence of this rage.
Yet no such public frenzy occurred when the closest male equivalent – a correlation between vasectomy and prostate cancer – was proposed only last month. Why is it a slur against women to consider a link between abortion and breast cancer, but no slur against men to suggest that vasectomy might be linked to prostate cancer? Both hypotheses remain unproven, plagued by conflicting evidence, yet both deal with grave medical issues that demand ongoing dispassionate research.
. . . So why would the AMA President treat with such contempt research which might help women know they are higher-risk and therefore needing closer screening?
Instead he issued a ruling:
“There is no link between abortion and breast cancer. We need to make that very clear to the public, and certainly we should not be promoting any papers from the 1950s.
This reference to the 1950s was in response to comments made by:
Senator Eric Abetz on the Ten Network’s The Project.
Watch his lips as he speaks the words that lit the fuse of this month’s media frenzy:
“I think the studies, and I think they date back from the 1950s, assert that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer
Abetz was correct, and if Dr Owler was so inclined he could read back through more than seventy published studies between 1957 and 2014 and find that more than three quarters of them (of widely varying quality) assert a correlation between abortion and breast cancer. So where is the cause for offense in the Senator’s statement?
Abetz made clear that he was not going to make a judgement on the “factual correctness” of the hypothesis saying, “I don’t have that scientific expertise” but he simply reported the fact that many studies do “assert that there is a link”.
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