When it comes to abortion, legislators seem to believe it is the one medical procedure where their personal opinion matters more than the decisions that a woman and her doctor think is best for her situation.
Now, in Indiana, politicians believe they should get to legislate to have doctors lie to women, too.
Via Huffington Post:
[O]ne of the most controversial portions of the [Indian abortion] bill is the part that would require doctors to inform women about the risks of abortion, including “the possibility of increased risk of breast cancer following an induced abortion and the natural protective effect of a completed pregnancy in avoiding breast cancer.”
Indiana wouldn’t be the first state to promote this theory. According to the Guttmacher Institute, five states — Alaska, Mississippi, Oklahoma, Texas and West Virginia — currently include mentions of a link between abortion and breast cancer in written counseling materials.
In 1999, Nevada Republican Sharron Angle — who was then in the state Assembly and recently lost the U.S. Senate race against Harry Reid — proposed a similar measure requiring doctors to make the abortion-breast cancer link.
The American Cancer Society (ACS) and other major health organizations, however, have rejected this theory. In February 2003, the U.S. National Cancer Institute brought together “more than 100 of the world’s leading experts who study pregnancy and breast cancer risk.” They found that neither induced nor spontaneous abortions lead to an increase in breast cancer risk. In fact, the risk is actually increased for a short period after a woman carries a pregnancy to full term (i.e., gives birth to a child). According to ACS, these findings were considered “well established,” which is the highest level for scientific evidence.
In June 2009, the highly respected American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists Committee on Gynecologic Practice wrote, “Early studies of the relationship between prior induced abortion and breast cancer risk were methodologically flawed. More rigorous recent studies demonstrate no causal relationship between induced abortion and a subsequent increase in breast cancer risk.”
Minnesota also has the erroneous “abortion may cause breast cancer” claim in their list of information that a woman is forced to read before her abortion, passed in the “Women’s Right to Know Act.” Although the information has been amended to read that they no longer believe that the studies are true, the section still begins by stating “Findings from earlier studies suggested there was an increased risk of breast cancer among women who had an abortion,” and that
“Women who have a strong family history of cancer or who have clinical ﬁndings of breast disease should seek medical advice from a physician regardless of their decision to become pregnant or have an abortion.”
Legislators are passing laws commanding doctors to lie to their patients. If this were for any medical reason besides abortion, people would be pushing to have them removed from office. But since it’s simply a woman’s right to decide when to have a child at stake, everyone lets it pass.