Harvard abortion study

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A group of researchers[1] at the Harvard School of Public Health and Harvard Medical School, operating under a government research grant, claim that a group of relatively young nurses show no increased incidence of breast cancer from abortion.

The average age of breast cancer in America is 61 years old.[2] But the average age of participants in this study was only 42 years old, too young for the average person to develop breast cancer. This study is as meaningless as drawing conclusions about heart disease by looking at teenagers.

The research report concealed how almost none of the subjects of the study were African American or Hispanic,[3] The press reports concealed the lack of African Americans and Hispanics in the study,[4] and mislead these groups.

The research data show that abortion causes a sharp increase in the deadly PR-negative breast cancer. "Among parous women [the overwhelming majority of the study], the [hazard ratios] HRs were 1.58 (95% CI, 1.13-2.20) for PR- breast cancer and 0.80 (95% CI, 0.60-1.05) for PR+ breast cancer (P for heterogeneity = 0.002) among women with induced abortion."[5] But the press reports concealed this alarming result, making it look like abortion is safe. The report's abstract concealed this alarming result also.

The research study excluded women who had abortions and then died from breast cancer! The study also excluded women who developed breast cancer early in the follow-up. "During follow-up, we censored women who were newly diagnosed as having breast cancer, had died, or were lost to follow-up."[6] So those who were hurt most by their abortions were excluded, and this skewed the results towards a claim that abortion is safe.

The research study treated women who left the specific question about past induced abortions blank, perhaps due to embarrassment, as though they did not have an abortion.[7] Many would draw the opposite conclusion. By switching women from "had an abortion" to "did not have an abortion," this would inflate the numbers of breast cancers by women who ostensibly did not have an abortion. It would then falsely appear that abortion did not cause breast cancer.

Over 25% of the respondents to the questionnaire exhibited confusion about the wording, where the unfamiliar term "spontaneous abortion" was used to mean "miscarriage". [8] Miscarriages do not increase breast cancer risk, and this deceptive word choice would cause many respondents to mark their prior abortions as "spontaneous abortion" or miscarriage. That would reduce any genuine differences between induced abortion and miscarriages in the observed results.


  1. None of the researchers hold positions in oncology, the specialty devoted to cancer, and one of the researchers is a nutritionist.
  2. http://www.webmd.com/breast-cancer/news/20050922/fewer-american-women-dying-of-breast-cancer
  3. The study says they were 92% non-Hispanic white, many of the remaining 8% must have been Filipino and other Asian groups. But the paper conceals the lack of African Americans and Hispanics, merely admitting that "The nurses in our cohort may not be representative of the social classes most likely to use abortion services." (p. 820).
  4. http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/us/AP-Abortion-Cancer.html?_r=2&oref=slogin&oref=slogin
  5. Research paper p. 817
  6. Study, p.815.
  7. "Of the 105,716 women included in this analysis, 28,392 did not answer the question on induced abortion but answered the question on spontaneous abortion .... We assumed that the women who answered only half of the question did nto answer the other question because of an oversight or because they felt that the question did not apply to them; we thus coded the missing response as 'no induced abortion.'" (p. 815)
  8. Study p. 815