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Feminist News


January-09-97

Study Debunks Ties Between Abortion and Breast Cancer

New research, conducted in Denmark, shows that women who have early-term abortions are not more likely to get breast cancer than women who do not have abortions. In the largest study of the relationship between abortion and breast cancer to date, a study, published in the January 8, 1997 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine, reviewed all cases of breast cancer and abortion in Denmark among 1.5 million women born between 1935 and 1978. Early studies conflicted on whether or not abortions led to a risk of breast cancer. Those that did find a correlation were often criticized, however, because they relied on women disclosing their medical histories. Women who had already been diagnosed with breast cancer were more likely to disclose having had an abortion in the past. Therefore, the number of women who had abortions and breast cancer might seem artificially higher than those women who had breast cancer and did not have abortions. The Denmark study avoided such a discrepancy because all persons in Denmark receive medical identification numbers and have records with their entire medical history on them. Thus, the researchers went through files which accurately reflected all women's medical histories.

Media Resources: The New York Times - January 8, 1997