Monday, November 12, 2012

Why I Believe the "Wear Pink" Campaign is Commercialism Gone Wild

Please excuse me while I take a detour...from writing about how cute my kids are and the joys/frustrations of parenting. I wanted to write this a while ago in the midst of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, but I couldn't find the statistics I was looking for. Lo and behold, as I am filing things away in my office this morning, I found what I had been searching for.

I know many of you will be offended and appalled at the title, or the fact that I will not wear pink, nor buy pink to support breast cancer research. The sad fact for me is this - it is wasted money until other factors in this nation and within women's "health" change. Please note - this is not to say that I don't support research for cancer; please do not misconstrue what I say here to mean that. Here are the facts as relates breast cancer that prevent me from buying into the hype:

  • Women who have an abortion prior to their first full term pregnancy have a 50% increased risk of developing breast cancer[1]
  • Those who have an abortion after their first full term pregnancy increase their chance of developing breast cancer by 30%. [1]
  • Women younger than 18 who have an abortion experience a 150% increased risk of developing breast cancer[2]
  • The risk increases to 800% - that's right, 800% - if a woman had her abortion between the 9th & 24th week  of pregnancy. [2]
  • If a woman takes an oral contraceptive pill before the birth of her first child, she suffers at least a 40% increased risk of developing breast cancer[3]
  • If she takes an oral contraceptive for 4 years or more prior to the birth of her first child, she suffers at least a 72% increased risk[3]
  • Available studies of women who used Depo-Provera show a 190% increased risk of breast cancer in women who used it for 2+ years before the age of 25. [4]
  • Women who have had an induced abortion and also use oral contraceptives have a "multiplied risk" of developing breast cancer. For instance, women who had an abortion prior to age 18, and used oral contraceptives for 4+ years before giving birth to their first child have a 330% increased risk of developing breast cancer[4]
There are 4000+ abortions occurring daily in this nation. The number of young women on oral contraceptives is in the tens of millions between the ages of 15-44. So, you see, I firmly believe we can research the heck out of breast cancer to find a cure, but so long as we ignore major contributing factors, it is money washed down the drain. We need to change the culture of sexuality and identity for young women if we want to make a mark at reducing breast cancer. No amount of pink will do that without a conversion of heart about sexuality, and a "come to Jesus" moment where we take our heads out of the sand about the research that is out there about the connection between abortion, contraception and breast cancer. 

[1] - Brind J., Chinichilli M., et al. Induced abortion as an independent risk factor for breast cancer: a comprehensive review and meta-analysis. J Epidemiol Community Health. 10/ 1996; 50: 481-496.

[2] - Daling J., Malone K., et al. Risk of breast cancer among young women: relationship to induced abortion. JNCI. 1994; 86: 1584-1592.

[3] - Romieu I., Berlin J. et al. Oral contraceptives and breast cancer. Review and meta-analysis. Cancer. 1990; 66:2253-2263.

[4] - Kahlenborn, C. Breast cancer, abortion and the pill. One More Soul: Dayton, OH. 2000


  1. My mom never had an abortion nor took contraceptives in her life yet developed breast cancer. I'll support the heck out of ANY type of research!!!!


  2. Raquel - Clearly breast cancer affects many of those who do not fall into those categories above. We are, however, still ignoring some major cues, and many of the organizations that raise money for cancer research also donate it to Planned Parenthood or other such organizations for "women's health." I'd just rather donate to the research organization directly than buy into a commercial mechanism that makes a fad out of it.