Life Site News
Donald Trump’s recent appointment of Charmaine Yoest to a position within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) received considerable media coverage. Yoest, who once served as President of Americans United for Life (AUL), a prominent beltway pro-life group, has stated on previous occasions that abortion increases the risk of breast cancer.
Last month, Washington Post fact-checker Michelle Ye He Lee conducted an analysis of the link between abortion and breast cancer. To the Post’s credit, Lee’s analysis is fairer than most media coverage of this topic.
That said, Lee is clearly skeptical of the link. She finds persuasive the conclusions of a 2003 workshop held by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). Its final report held that methodologically sound studies showed no association between induced abortion and increased breast cancer risk.
Lee does find plausible the arguments put forth by AAPLOG and BCPI that, due to changes in hormone production and breast-tissue development during pregnancy, late-term abortions may increase the risk of breast cancer. Indeed, a substantial body of empirical research supports this finding.
It would be nice if the Washington Post, other media outlets, and academic organizations would use this as a starting point for discussion about the abortion–breast cancer link. Once again, the Post’s fact-check is another example of how the mainstream media are primarily interested in marginalizing research that finds that induced abortion increases the risk of breast cancer.