Hormonal factors, including estrogen, are well known to be connected to an increase in breast cancer risk. Cancer advocacy groups such as the Canadian Cancer Society also acknowledge this by mentioning several risk factors associated with increased estrogen exposure. Among the “Causes of breast cancer” listed on their website (www.cancer.ca) are: no childbirth, or first childbirth after age 30, early onset of menstruation, late menopause, taking combined hormone replacement therapy, and taking oral contraceptives. These risk factors are all associated with increased estrogen exposure.

Induced abortions increase a woman’s window of exposure to estrogen, in two basic ways. Abortions deny women the estrogen-balancing protective effects of a full term pregnancy as well as breast feeding. This is undisputed. A woman’s estrogen exposure is even more significant if she has an abortion before ever having a full term pregnancy, because it exposes rapidly-dividing, immature breast cells to massive amounts of estrogen. Obviously, abortions are performed on women who are already pregnant. Soon after conception occurs, estrogen levels surge, causing breast cells to multiply profusely. When such massive cell multiplication occurs, more errors or mutations can also occur, resulting in abnormal cells. Under the influence of estrogen, the abnormal cells also multiply, which can lead to cancer formation. Estrogen can also directly attack the DNA, causing more abnormal cells to form and multiply. Late in pregnancy, other hormones not only cause most of the breast cells to mature into milk-producing cells that are resistant to the damaging effects of estrogen, they also help to repair damage that may have occurred under the influence of estrogen. When induced abortion halts the normal protective hormonal process of progressive cell maturation and cell repair, more immature, rapidly-dividing breast cells are exposed to the effects of estrogen. Note that spontaneous abortion (miscarriage) usually occurs with low levels of pregnancy hormones, including estrogen, thus not increasing breast cancer risk.

Biology shows that estrogen, without the balancing effects of the other pregnancy hormones, is a factor in increased breast cancer risk. Induced abortion increases a woman’s total estrogen exposure, ultimately increasing her risk for breast cancer.

Beginning in 1957 and as current as the fall 2007 Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons, there have been more than 50 studies in peer-reviewed medical journals that have shown an increased risk of breast cancer among women who have had induced abortions.

In addition there have been three medical malpractice lawsuits since 2002 in which the failure to warn women about the abortion-breast cancer link has resulted in two out-of-court settlements and one adjudicated judgment, all in favour of the post-abortive women who brought the suits forward.