Minister links abortion and breast cancer

Eric Abetz denies abortion-cancer links: Liberal Senator Eric Abetz links breast cancer to abortion in an interview on Ten's The Project but later denies media reports he draws a link.

Senior government minister Eric Abetz has drawn a link between abortion and breast cancer in a television interview.

Senator Abetz, the leader of the government in the upper house and the Employment Minister, made the comments on Channel 10 program The Project when asked if he believed the "factually incorrect" statement that abortion leads to breast cancer.

Senator Eric Abetz says studies have drawn a link between abortion and breast cancer. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

Senator Eric Abetz says studies have drawn a link between abortion and breast cancer. Photo: Alex Ellinghausen

"I think the studies, and I think they date back from the 1950s, assert that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer," he said on Thursday night.

When his comments were questioned, Senator Abetz said: "There are other organisations [other than the Australian Medical Association] that have differing views."

The Australian Medical Association said the comments were irresponsible.

"If he's quoting papers from the 1950s, I suspect that's where he's living," AMA President Associate Professor Brian Owler said.

"I think it's really irresponsible for people to be using their own ideology and projecting it on, particularly women."

The abortion-breast cancer theory has been rejected by Cancer Australia, the World Health Organisation, the US National Cancer Institute, Britain's Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists and health authorities in Victoria and NSW.

Senator Abetz, who is openly anti-abortion, is involved with this this year's "World Congress of Families" event to be held in Melbourne later this month, where the one of the topics to be discussed is abortion and breast cancer.

Federal Social Services Minister Kevin Andrews, who is an ambassador for the US-based anti-homosexuality "congress", will open and close the event.

The conference will also be attended by number of Victorian Liberals, including state Attorney-General Robert Clark and anti-abortion campaigner and Victorian upper house MP Bernie Finn.

In July, women's health advocates said pro-life campaigners expected to attend the event, incuding the well-known American Dr Angela Lanfranchi, were entitled to their views but called on members of government not to endorse flawed medical theories through their presence at the families congress.

Dr Lanfranchi has claimed women who take the pill choose partners who share a similar genetic profile causing them to lose interest in sex and become more likely to be the victim of violent assault and murder. She also pushes the debunked link between abortion and breast cancer.

SMH

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