In his letter, published Oct. 16, Robert Roy presents a carefully cultivated impression that he is “just reporting the facts.” The problem is that Roy’s “facts” are saturated in myth.

He claims that “studies have linked abortion to breast cancer.”

There is longstanding scientific consensus that no such link exists. The National Cancer Institute (the very source Roy cites) convened a panel of more than 100 of the world’s leading experts in 2003 to review studies on the relationship between pregnancy, abortion, miscarriage and breast cancer risk, and declared emphatically that having an abortion does not increase a woman’s subsequent risk of developing breast cancer.

This finding was confirmed yet again in April 2007 by scientists at Harvard Medical School who conducted a 10-year study of more than 100,000 women.

Roy claims that having an abortion causes emotional problems and “post-abortion stress.”

Abortion opponents have long attempted to document the existence of a “post-abortion syndrome,” which they claim has traits similar to post-traumatic stress disorder. Yet no scientific evidence of such trauma exists – it is not recognized as an official syndrome or diagnosis by any mainstream authority, including the American Psychiatric Association or the American Psychological Association.

We all deserve to have accurate information when it comes to our health and well-being. The claims that Roy presents, however, are harmful myths. Worse, they are scare tactics disguised as concern for women and their health, without regard to the facts.

George A. Hill, president/CEO

Family Planning Association of Maine/

Harris Institute for Reproductive Health, Augusta

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