Some of you may have stumbled across a news article citing a fancy-sounding “study” by Peter Carroll of London’s Pension and Population Research Institute: “The Breast Cancer Epidemic: Modeling and Forecasts Based on Abortion and Other Risk Factors”. From the abstract (PDF link):
Using national cancer registration data for female breast cancer incidence in eight European countries”"England & Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland, the Irish Republic, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Finland, and Denmark”"for which there is also comprehensive data on abortion incidence, trends are examined and future trends predicted. Seven reproductive risk factors are considered as possible explanatory variables. Induced abortion is found to be the best predictor, and fertility is also a useful predictor.
The study re-confirms what many scientists acknowledge in private but won’t mention in public, Karen Malec, president of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer, told Cybercast News Service, because they fear the potential medical liability involved.
“Where was that published?” was the first thing I wondered. Because when something sounds like it has an obvious agenda rather than being objective research: the first thing to do is evaluate the source, the second is to follow the money, the third is to check out the author. Where was it published? How was it funded? Who wrote it and where are they from?
It was published in the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. Sounds all Offishul and stuff doesn’t it? Like JAMA or NEJM or BMJ or something like that? Well, – no, it isn’t. And no, you won’t find it indexed on Medline.
The journal is a wacky mix of anti gun control lobbying, vaccine conspiracy theory, forced-birther cant, racist anti-immigration ranting, and outraged opposition to any form of government regulation of or involvement in healthcare. There are even doses of young-earth creationism and AIDS-denialism/homosexual-condemnation in there.
The association is openly anti-abortion, passed a resolution in 2003 “Affirming the Sanctity of Human Life “. This is where this supposed study is coming from:
WHEREAS: the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons stands on the principles of the Hippocratic Oath, which oath clearly opposes abortion of a developing human child;
WHEREAS: teachings of the major religions of the world have opposed abortion of a developing human child until very recent times;
WHEREAS: even if religion is removed from the issue of abortion of a human child, without life as the ultimate ethic, no objective ethical standard remains;
WHEREAS: the unborn child in the womb meets the definition of human being, and people’s choices are limited by government when those choices would harm another human being;
WHEREAS: the purpose of abortion of a human child is to destroy the life of the child, in contradistinction to other terminations of pregnancy to save the life of the mother, in which an attempt would also made to save the life of the child;
WHEREAS: our society will not permit a woman to terminate the life of her unwanted child after birth, despite its total dependence, even in the privacy of her own home in consultation with her physician; and
WHEREAS: the public’s right to know and to make an informed decision about abortion of a human child has never been made possible by the opportunity to view various methods of abortion at different stages of gestation;
THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons supports the right to life of human beings from the moment of conception to natural death.
And a more rational examination of abortion and breast cancer, here at the American Cancer Society.
After following the source, the next step is to follow the money. This particular publication was funded by ” the charities LIFE and The
Medical Education Trust”. The MET is yet another forced-birther propaganda dissemination group, and LIFE provides forced-birth “counselling” and “education” and campaigns against reproductive choice.
Yet the author declared no conflicts of interest. I’ll leave that with you.
Who is the author? Good question. I’ve no idea who “Peter Carroll” is. The “Pension and Population Research Institute” doesn’t seem to actually exist on the WWW, and the only hits on googling its name lead to anti-abortion faux-science and the address 35 Canonbury Rd, Islington, also the address of “Risk Research Services Ltd”, an insurance agent. Perhaps we have a lo cal Islingtoner who can tell us whether this is some bloke in his parents’ basement. Conweb says that Carroll appears to be its only representative. Or Patrick Carroll. Typos? Brothers? Who knows. There are at least two Schlaflys involved with JAP&S, too; the whole mess seems to be a family affair.