Thursday, August 27, 2009

Abortion and Breast Cancer

This is a controversial subject, but I felt that I needed to write about it.

I don't know why, but recently I've been thinking a lot about the link between abortion and breast cancer. Ironically, the other day I happened upon a blog from a breast cancer survivor who posted a comment about this very relationship: having had an abortion can increase a woman's risk of developing breast cancer.

In my book, I briefly described this association, noting for example the dramatic drop in hormone levels within a woman's body following an abortion. The resultant shift in hormonal activity can, according to many studies I've reviewed, affect a woman's breast tissue and put her at risk for developing breast cancer later on in life.

I remember the plethora of negative feelings that washed over me as I contemplated this issue months ago. No, I have never had an abortion, but I most certainly have had breast cancer. What would I be feeling at this very moment if I'd had an abortion in the past and am now finding myself battling this horrid disease?

Unfortunately, most young women NEVER hear about this association between abortion and breast cancer, because this knowledge might make them decide NOT to have the abortion. Abortion clinics would lose money. And most people just don't want to talk about the topic at all. "It's too personal," or " It's none of my business." However, I feel that this scenario is somewhat ironic; we give women the choice to decide what is best for their bodies, but yet we deprive them of crucial information that could ultimately result in saving their own lives.

I realize that abortion is a highly controversial topic. But regardless if one is "pro-choice" or not, I feel that medical information should be available to everyone, and especially to women in this case, that outlines the associated risk between abortion and breast cancer. Most likely, many women would choose not to have an abortion if they knew of this risk beforehand. In my opinion, it doesn't really sound like they are given all the information they need - and deserve - in order to make a good "choice."

My heart goes out to the millions of women who have chosen to terminate their pregnancies. The decision to have an abortion was, I'm sure, very difficult to make. I can only imagine the excruciating emotional pain they may suffer, perhaps years or even decades later, and I pray that they never find themselves face to face with possibly one of the most colossal battles imaginable: breast cancer.

May God bless you, and I would love to hear your comments!



Anonymous said...

Hey Karen!

You are absolutely right. Women have the right to know about this issue and they should know beforehand. I think there should be a resource for women who have already had an abortion to contact for counseling and advice in this issue also. I've seen a video that warns about the link and tells women basically "don't panic, just do monthly self exams." This is good advice but if I was one of those women I would want MORE. I would want a person to talk to who could give further guidance and education about it. Thanks for addressing this issue. It needed to be addressed. I love the title of the book by the way. It is so true. I can't imagine going though breast cancer without God. I will look for it.


Karen L. Holmes said...

Hey Kerry,

I totally agree with you - more information, resources, as well as counseling services need to be made available to women regarding breast cancer and its link to abortion.

And, yes, I think that you might enjoy reading my book about my journey through breast cancer. Many people who have read it stated that they felt some of the same emotions that I experienced and were relieved to know that they weren't alone while they traveled along this road. It is available on or you can order it through Borders or Waldenbooks.

Have a great weekend, friend, and kow that I am praying for you!


Denise said...

I have also heard of abortion being associated with infertility later as well.

Karen L. Holmes said...

Hi Denise,

Yes, you are correct. Abortion can lead to infertility in many women, primarily due to the scarring that can occur in the uterus or fallopian tubes. Many people don't realize that the moment a woman has an abortion, her chances of ever becomming pregnant again are markedly reduced.

Thanks for your comment. Enjoy hearing from you!