Legislation / Court Cases

First U.S. Abortion-Breast Cancer Lawsuit Settled

For an undisclosed amount (17Oct03, Philadelphia County Court of Common Pleas). The plaintiff was a 17-year-old PA resident when a second-trimester abortion was performed in NJ without parental knowledge/consent.

Although she hasn’t developed breast cancer, she sued her abortion provider, Charles Benjamin, for neglecting to warn her about the physical and emotional risks of abortion. Karen Malec [Coalition On Abortion/Breast Cancer president] said that the settlement would alert “the medical establishment that it can no longer profit by keeping women in the dark about the breast cancer risk. This case also establishes that abortion providers can be sued for battery if the abortion provider performs no parental consent abortions on minors from neighboring states (with parental consent statutes), even if the state where the abortion is performed does not have a parental consent statute.” On the eve of trial, Dr. Benjamin and the Cherry Hill Women’s Center in Cherry Hill, NJ, agreed to settle claims it violated parental-consent law and failed to inform its then-17-year-old patient about the emotional and physical risks of abortion – including increased risk of breast cancer. When the plaintiff, who goes by the fictitious name of “Sarah,” got pregnant at the age of 16, her high school guidance counselor facilitated her second-trimester abortion at the NJ clinic across the Delaware River without her parents’ knowledge. NJ was chosen because it has no parental-consent laws regarding abortions for minors. Sarah is said to have suffered tremendously since having her abortion. Attorney Susan Gertz, executive director of the Women’s Injury Network, the national charity which covered Sarah’s case expenses, reports she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress syndrome following the abortion. Gertz applauded the undisclosed settlement, which was based on Sarah’s need for medical monitoring for early detection of breast cancer. Doctors estimated that cost to be $2,500 annually. The settlement also includes funding to cover future psychological counseling. “Abortion malpractice lawsuits help expose the deceptive practices of the abortion industry and hold doctors legally and financially accountable to the women they’ve harmed,” Gertz said in a statement. Sarah’s parents successfully sued the high school in a separate lawsuit for violating their 14th Amendment rights to raise their child without interference by the public school. This lawsuit makes it possible for the abortion providers to be sued for battery. “…Abortion centers can’t escape civil penalties by aborting for kids from other states when they know the state where they come from has parental-consent statute,” said Sarah’s attorney Stanton [215/886-6780]. According to Stanton’s statistics, an average of 43 women from PA travel to NJ every month to have abortions. Ten of those are teens, some as young as 12. The ABC link has been called “the elephant in medicine’s parlor.” Medical experts privately say abortion causes breast cancer, but it is too volatile to publicly acknowledge. According to a National Cancer Institute (NCI) commissioned study, teens who procure abortions before age 18, more than double their risk. [1] Girls and women have a predominance of immature, cancer-vulnerable Types 1 & 2 breast lobules, which aren’t matured into cancer-resistant Types 3 & 4 lobules until a term pregnancy takes place. Abortion can increase the statistical odds of developing breast cancer in two ways: 1) It delays a first term pregnancy; and 2) It increases the number of cancer-vulnerable breast cells because estrogen overexposure during a normal pregnancy stimulates cell multiplication. Women don’t receive protection from estrogen overexposure until third trimester hormones mature their breast tissue into milk-producing Types 3 & 4 lobules. Differentiated (mature) cells are not vulnerable to carcinogens. Scientists are incapable of refuting the biological explanation for the ABC link: 17 of 29 worldwide studies are statistically significant, which means there’s a 95 percent certainty that the association is not by chance. Seven of these 17 report more than a two-fold risk increase. 13 of 16 U.S. studies report risk elevations.

The NCI provided at least partial funding for 10 studies. “It’s common sense,” adds Malec. “Doctors should be erring on the side of caution and should be telling patients ‘Yes, there is research going back 46 years that supports an abortion-breast cancer link’. That’s the minimum owed to women.” [1. Daling et al. (1994) J Natl Cancer Inst 86:1584-92. 2. National Physicians Center for Family Resources, American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Polycarp Research Institute, Breast Cancer Prevention Institute. COALITION ON ABORTION/BREAST CANCER, 1-877-803-0102, www.AbortionBreastCancer.com, Karen Malec, 21Oct03 & 23Oct03, Pro-Life E-News

The Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer is an international women’s organization founded to protect the health and save the lives of women by educating and providing information on abortion as a risk factor for breast cancer.