Tackle abortion misinformation
This week, Qld MP Freya Ostapovitch told parliament that having an abortion increases the risk of breast cancer.
It's misinformation that has been debunked by the World Health Organisation, American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute in the United States – who “concluded that having an abortion or miscarriage does not increase a woman’s subsequent risk of developing breast cancer.” But it's currently making headlines across the country, as if fact.
The decision to terminate a pregnancy can be a complex and difficult one – and it shouldn't be informed by this kind of misinformation.
Can you join the call for Ms Ostapovitch to retract her comment, and correct the record on this matter?
Find out more
Ms Ostapovitch’s comments were made during a speech to parliament about breast cancer prevention and awareness – a focus we commend. But her comments about the link between abortion and breast cancer are incorrect.
Since her comments, experts have said:
"In the 1980s and early 1990s, some studies suggested there was a link between abortion and breast cancer. Since the mid-1990s, these studies have been refuted due to their unreliable and inaccurate data reporting. Several large, well-designed and reputable studies have provided evidence that abortion does not increase the risk of breast cancer…There is no evidence, nationally or internationally, that supports an association between abortion and breast cancer." - National Breast Cancer Foundation (via Mamamia)
“This idea that there could be a link between abortions and increased cancer risk has been around for decades, I believe since the late 50s. It’s been studied really extensively, agencies around the world have had very detailed looks at available data and none have found any evidence to suggest there’s a link." - Dr Alex Swarbrick, Garvan Institute (via Mamamia)
You can also find out more about the debunking via Children By Choice.
 ‘Abortion raises breast cancer risk: Qld MP’, The Australian, 4 June 2014
 ‘Abortion, Miscarriage, and Breast Cancer Risk’, National Cancer Institute; ‘Is Abortion linked to Breast Cancer?’, American Cancer Society; ‘Fact sheet 240’, World Health Organization, June 2000 (hosted on Australian Women’s Health Network).