Bad news for lying “Family Values” associations

One of the problems with denialists is that they simply can’t accept that science doesn’t conform to their ideology. For instance, it’s not enough to just be morally opposed to abortion, the anti-choice organizations have to misrepresent risks of the procedure, including promoting the false link (NCI) between abortion and breast cancer.

Recently, Talk to Action exposed the lies of Crisis Pregnancy centers, and the dishonest tactics they use to misrepresent the services they offer and lie about the risks of abortion. These centers which use federal money to misrepresent the science, are nothing more than a taxpayer-funded anti-choice scam.

Several years ago, Sean Sweet went to a Pennsylvania CPC that used Klusendorf’s favored shock therapy for “abortion-minded” women.

“I took the pregnancy test. They said, ‘We want you to wait in this room and we’re going to show you a video about abortion.’ I thought it would be about my options,” she recalls. “Instead, there were these horrible images of disfigured babies and aborted fetuses, looking very large like they were almost to term. Then there was a little segment where the woman was supposed to be thrashing around and screaming during her abortion.”

Sweet had had an abortion when she was 14, and she knew she was being lied to. She wanted to leave, but she also wanted the results of her test. It turned out she was pregnant, and though the counselors tried to stop her, she stormed out and later had an abortion. Not knowing she’d ended her pregnancy, a counselor from the center called her three times to tell her, “God loves your baby.”

Your federal dollars at work.

The latest lie they like to peddle is that medical abortion using RU-486 is likely to cause later ectopic pregnancy or future fertility problems. Well, today the NEJM has an authoritative article on the safety of medical abortion, showing it is as safe as surgical abortion and confirms previous evidence that abortion does not increase your risk of ectopic pregnancy, infertility, or later miscarriage as rates were consistent with established rates of each of these problems.

Results Among 11,814 pregnancies in women who had had a previous first-trimester medical abortion (2710 women) or surgical abortion (9104 women), there were 274 ectopic pregnancies (respective incidence rates, 2.4% and 2.3%), 1426 spontaneous abortions (12.2% and 12.7%), 552 preterm births (5.4% and 6.7%), and 478 births with low birth weight (4.0% and 5.1%). After adjustment for maternal age, interval between pregnancies, gestational age at abortion, parity, cohabitation status, and urban or nonurban residence, medical abortion was not associated with a significantly increased risk of ectopic pregnancy (relative risk, 1.04; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.76 to 1.41), spontaneous abortion (relative risk, 0.87; 95% CI, 0.72 to 1.05), preterm birth (relative risk, 0.88; 95% CI, 0.66 to 1.18), or low birth weight (relative risk, 0.82; 95% CI, 0.61 to 1.11). Gestational age at medical abortion was not significantly associated with any of these adverse outcomes.

From their discussion.

The implications of our data for the long-term safety of medical abortion therefore rely on the premise that surgical abortion in the first trimester is safe, which is supported by the majority of studies in the literature. A review of available data published in 1990 concluded that early surgical abortion by vacuum aspiration, currently the most commonly used method, was not associated with ectopic pregnancy, spontaneous abortion, low birth weight, or preterm birth in a subsequent pregnancy.4 Most studies published since then have supported this conclusion.5,8,14,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25 Among studies reporting increased risks of adverse outcomes in subsequent pregnancies,26,27,28,29,30 the findings have been inconsistent; this inconsistency may reflect the performance of multiple comparisons or recall bias in case-control studies of induced abortion and ectopic pregnancies and the use of older methods for abortion in some cases. Because our study drew from the entire population of Denmark during the study period and because follow-up was almost complete, the study was not susceptible to selection bias. The large sample also provided sufficient power to detect a small effect, if one truly existed. The incidences of spontaneous abortion (12.6%), ectopic pregnancy (2.3%), and stillbirth (0.3%) in our study population were within the ranges reported in the literature.31 The rate of failed medical abortion, defined as medical abortion followed by a surgical procedure (6.9% in our Danish study population), is also consistent with the rates in previous clinical trials32 and in a hospital-based study in Denmark.9 These observations support the validity of our data.

I wonder if that means the pro-life groups will take down the hundreds of pages they have that hold onto older, smaller and debunked studies that have been systematically disproven by more thorough analysis. But I won’t hold my breath. This is why I include these organizations among the denialists. It’s not that they have a moral opposition to abortion, it’s that they lie about the science to promote their agenda. The fact is that having an abortion is about 12 times safer than carrying a pregnancy to term. There is no link between abortion and breast cancer, and there is no proven risk of infertility or future ectopic pregnancy. If anything abortion is bears a negative association with risk future ectopic pregnancy.