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Louisiana to Correct Misinformation about Abortion-Breast Cancer Link

A spokesperson for Louisiana’s Department of Health and Hospitals has announced that a state brochure containing false information about a link between abortion and breast cancer will be corrected. “It’s incumbent on us as the health agency to make sure any information is factually correct,” Bob Johannessen told the Associated Press. “We don’t want to be misleading women who are making this important choice.” Currently, false warnings to women seeking to terminate their pregnancy that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer are required in Texas and Mississippi, and in Kansas and Louisiana, these false warnings are voluntarily issued by health officials, according to Kaisernetwork.org. In 2001, after reviewing many studies done on the subject, several prominent medical groups including the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and the World Health Organization concluded that having an abortion does not increase a woman’s risk of developing breast cancer, Kaisernetwork.org reports. Dr. Martin Abeloff, director of the Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center at Johns Hopkins University, told the Associated Press, “The virtually complete consensus was that the studies that purported to show a link were methodologically flawed.” The Associated Press reports that Minnesota law requires its health department to mention the false abortion-breast cancer link on its website, however the law is not enforced due to outcry from the state’s medical community. Also, a law requiring the false warning was struck down in Montana by the state’s Supreme Court. Fourteen state legislatures are currently considering bills mandating that the false warning be perpetuated: Georgia, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Vermont, Washington, and West Virginia. DONATE to protect the right to a safe, legal abortion

Sources:

Associated Press 11/11/04; Kaiser Daily Reproductive Health Report 11/11/04, 3/01/01

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