Federally-funded groups misleading about abortion

Despite the fact that abortion is a public health issue, I don’t write on it much. It’s so emotionally charged, and I can only handle so many trolls at one time. However, regardless of one’s position on abortion, we should be in agreement that women shouldn’t be lied to at such a trying time–but it would seem that’s the case:

Women who consult with pregnancy resource centers often get misleading information about the health risks associated with having an abortion, according to a report issued Monday by Democrats on the House Government Reform Committee.

Congressional aides, posing as pregnant 17-year-olds, called 25 pregnancy centers that have received some federal funding over the past five years.

The aides were routinely told of increased risk for cancer, infertility and stress disorders, said the report, which was prepared for Rep. Henry Waxman, D-Calif.

8 of the 25 told callers that abortion led to a higher risk for breast cancer:

One pregnancy center told a congressional aide the risk of cancer after an abortion could be 80 percent higher, the report noted. Ford said she doubted a pregnancy center would go that far, but the Web site for a pregnancy center in Albuquerque says the risk for cancer after an abortion is 50 percent or greater.

This, despite a 2003 report that analyzed the data to date, and concluded that induced abortion is not associated with an increase in breast cancer risk, and a 2004 Lancet publication that concluded the same thing.


The report from the Democratic aides also said the pregnancy resource centers provided false information about the mental health effects of abortion, telling the aides that it could cause severe long-term emotional harm.

However, an American Psychological Association panel said, “Severe negative reactions are rare.”

Sadly, such tactics shouldn’t be too surprising any longer, as a report from 2004 found that abstinence-only education programs were similarly misleading. I’m sure they’re both just oversights…

5 Replies to “Federally-funded groups misleading about abortion”

  1. We briefly mentioned this article at give up, and one of my regulars posted an interesting article from the UVa student newspaper.

    Here’s AAP’s summary:

    This reminds me of some reporting that the student paper did last winter/spring. They sent an undergrad female undercover to the various pregnancy centers around town. She claimed that she had missed a period, and was gauging their response.

    The ‘pregnancy center’ (funded by antiabortion groups) gave her a pregnancy test, handed her a bunch of literature, and when the test came up negative, sent her home.

    The Planned Parenthood chapter gave her the test. When it came up negative, they made her an appointment with a physician to try and determine if there was an organic reason (i.e. disease) that caused her to miss a period.

    Her point: which one cares more about women, and which one with the clump of cells inside her?

    It’s interesting, not only that an undergraduate student journalist actually did such great investigative reporting but that they made their motives so patently obvious in their interactions with her.

  2. This program brought to you by Liars for Jesus.

    Although, sadly, it’s possible that some people sincerely believe that if their preacher tells them abortion causes breast cancer, it must be true, and all those “doctors” and “scientists” who have “evidence” that it doesn’t are just evil atheist materialists out to fulfill Satan’s plan to force more abortions on defenseless women.

    Or, alternatively, if you really believe abortion is murder, what’s wrong with lying to prevent a murder?

  3. I agree that it’s horrible to mislead people by lying about effects that don’t occur, but it’s just as misleading to lie about what can happen.

  4. Chris, i think the populace hardly qualifies as reading into their preachers but they should be able to trust the laid out infrastructure which have been integrated in their social reality, which would be for us (affluent populations) everything from gas, water, transport, internet etc, up to the medical support.

    What goes on with those abortionists is a shame and IMHO in order to councel one should be tested more thoroughly. I recall there were even councelors who had fake M.D.s or Ph.d.s and virtually no medical knowledge.

  5. @abortionists: that came out wrong. I mean those advocating a new being of adam and eve and god or whatnot, as in analogy to creationists.
    I do not mean to refer to medical or scientific staff, but to those pseudo-counselors.

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