As I finished up my training for The Pregnancy Resource Center, I had to once again ask myself, “Why me?” Who am I to council women on such a heavy topic? I feel for the teenager who will have her whole life turned around by this one “mistake”. What will her future hold? What will her parents do? I also feel for the mother caring a child with severe disabilities or for the rape victim that now must carry her attackers child. Regardless of their situation, pregnancy is a reality they must all face. Whether they decide to carry or abort: the impact of either decision will be with them for the rest of their lives.
In such crisis situations, there was still a little part of me that thought…perhaps there are times when abortion might be best. Though, on the other hand, I also believe that God doesn’t make “mistakes”. What we see as a hardship or devastation, He sees as an opportunity do something amazing. And for those who trust Him in this, He will not disappoint. (That’s why this post is Part 1. Stay tuned for the living example of this in Part 2)
Anyway, despite my lack of clarity, God has placed me here for a reason. Perhaps being able to see both sides of the coin, will cause me to be a more sympathetic listener. Yet, I hungered for knowledge that wasn’t based on my own feelings or opinions. Well, you know the old saying: Be careful what you wish for…
PRC feels it is important for its volunteers to know what other outside information these pregnant and confused girls are receiving. So, for homework one week, we were to go on the Planned Parenthood website, to educate ourselves on their philosophy. Here is the first sentence on their abortion home page: Abortion is a safe and legal way to end pregnancy. Under the Abortion Procedure Link it goes on to say: A sedative and numbing agent are used while a suction machine gently empties your uterus and an instrument called a curette is used to remove any remaining tissue.
I went back to class the next week to learn that, as simple as this sounds, there are a few details PP has failed to mention. Before the “gentle” suction, the cervix (which is designed to stay clamped shut during pregnancy to avoid even the smallest of outside invaders) must now be pried open with strong metal clamps. The “curette” instrument (ironically and misleadingly pronounced cure it) is actually a sharp metal spoon designed to scrape the lining of the uterus. This is necessary, for once the metal clamps holding the cervix open, are removed; the cervix will tightly shut again and any tissue left behind from the fetus can lead to infection. Unfortunately, the scraping and the suction can cause slight displacement in reproductive organs, in addition to thinning in the uterus lining. Making it possibly more difficult for a future pregnancy. Although true, none of this is explained by Planned Parenthood to their clients. I suppose they are right in saying their procedure is legal, but
safe and gentle it is not.
As if this was not enough information to help aid one in making an educated choice, The Pregnancy Resource Center opened my eyes to something even more disturbing. The facts on abortion procedures were difficult to hear, but the possible long-term effects, well that shocked me. The information below is not my opinion. There are studies to support it (see footnotes). For some reason women are not being told about this, and it doesn’t seem right to me.
Here are 3 facts that medical experts agree upon:
1. Carrying a pregnancy to full term gives protection against breast cancer that cannot be gained if abortion is chosen.
2. Abortion causes a sudden drop in estrogen levels that may make breast cells more prone to cancer. [In other words: if her body did not deliver the baby on its own (through childbirth or miscarriage) the natural process of breast maturation is interrupted. The body believes it is still pregnant. There is a drop in estrogen levels, but the cells remain and may become abnormal.]
3. Most studies conducted to date show a statistically significant linkage between abortion and breast cancer.
The researcher in charge of overseeing the first study, Janet Daling, happens to be strongly pro-choice. Despite her personal beliefs, she knows she can not dispute these findings. When asked by advocates of pro-choice if there were attempts made to undermine this research, she vigorously defended her study stating, “I am appalled that politics is entering into the science of this study.”
Since then, additional studies have been performed that only further this connection.
Despite all the numerous studies that support this linkage, the general medical community and even the National Cancer Institute have hesitated to accept this conclusion.
Often abortions are kept confidential, so exact numbers are harder to justify. It is perhaps why legitimate studies have been criticized by organizations that advocate abortion rights. It seems to me, that this finding is not being explained to women because a clear percentage can not be agreed upon. Well as a woman, I don’t care if I’m 20% more likely or 50% more likely to get breast cancer due to a choice I’m about to make. I would want a medical professional to inform me of this risk. There is something very wrong with a doctor not alerting their patients to a side effect as huge as Cancer!
Well this little Blogger sees the need to mention it. Most of what I write is to simply document my own healing process and if it helps someone else along the way, then Praise God. But this post is not for me, I already know this. It’s for you, and every woman you know that needs to be made aware of this connection. Whether the topic of abortion is a conversation of the past, present, or future – this is something women need to know.
Part of my reasoning for not wanting to write about this was because I didn’t want to scare women who have had past abortions; believing they will now get cancer. But when I spoke with a friend who had experienced an abortion many years ago, she said, “I would want to know about an increased chance, in order that I would continue to take precautionary measures and stay consistent with my exams”.
I’ve been given this knowledge and I believe that others deserve to know it, regardless of their age, gender, marital status, religious beliefs, or political views.
As advocates squabble over if a woman has the right to “choose” what happens to her body; shouldn’t something as real and life altering as Breast Cancer be factored into that choice?
Endnotes: below are three references used by The Pregnancy Resource Center.
- Daling et. al., “Risk of Breast Cancer Among Young Women: Relationship to Induced Abortions”. Journal of the National Cancer Institute, Vol. 86, No. 21 (1994)
- “Do Abortions Raise the Risk of Breast Cancer?” Time, p. 61 (Nov.7, 1994)
- J. Brind, “Induced Abortions as an Independent Factor for Breast Cancer: a Comprehensive Review and Meta-Analysis”, Journal of Endemiology and Community Health, 50: pp. 481-496 (1996)