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2012, Politics, Science
Santorum suggests abortion causes breast cancer
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Republican presidential candidate Rick Santorum on Sunday suggested that Susan G. Komen for the Cure shouldn’t provide grants to Planned Parenthood for breast cancer screenings because abortions cause breast cancer, a false claim that has been repeatedly debunked.

The candidate told Fox News host Chris Wallace that he didn’t agree with the Komen Foundation reversing itself last week and making Planned Parenthood eligible for future grants.

“I’ve taken the position as a presidential candidate and someone in Congress that Planned Parenthood funds and does abortions,” Santorum explained. “They’re a private organization they stand up and support what ever they want.”

“I don’t believe that breast cancer research is advanced by funding an organization where you’ve seen ties to cancer and abortion,” he added. “So, I don’t think it’s a particularly healthy way of contributing money to further cause of breast cancer, but that’s for a private organization like Susan B. Komen to make that decision.”

According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), the several small flawed studies that suggested a link between abortion and breast cancer have been disproven.

“Since then, better-designed studies have been conducted,” the institute’s website said. “These newer studies examined large numbers of women, collected data before breast cancer was found, and gathered medical history information from medical records rather than simply from self-reports, thereby generating more reliable findings. The newer studies consistently showed no association between induced and spontaneous abortions and breast cancer risk.”

In 2002, the Bush administration temporarily altered NCI’s website to say that scientific evidence supported a possible link between abortion and breast cancer. After an outcry from the scientific community, NCI corrected its website with an accurate fact sheet.

A study released by Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) in 2006 found that the Bush administration also used pregnancy resource centers — commonly known as “crisis pregnancy centers” — to falsely inform pregnant teens that the risk of breast cancer increased by 80 percent after an abortion.

“This tactic may be effective in frightening pregnant teenagers and women and discouraging abortion,” the study concluded (PDF). “But it denies the teenagers and women vital health information, prevents them from making an informed decision, and is not an accepted public health practice.”

Watch this video from Fox’s Fox News Sunday, broadcast Feb. 5, 2012.

 

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