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…