@fernhilldammit The 1989 Holly Howe study using a N.Y. IA registry has never been refuted or withdrawn.— Barbara Kay (@BarbaraRKay) October 5, 2012
(The Howe study is the only link in her piece backing up her 'abortion causes breast cancer' lie.)
Withdrawing a paper is a very big deal indeed and rarely happens. But science consists of refutation and refinement. I was curious what others -- scientists and non-scientists -- had to say about this particular study.
First, I regular Googled 'H.L. Howe cancer abortion'.
The first non-sponsored link is to the abstract itself. (The sponsored link is to an abortion clinic.)
I checked only the first five pages containing 50 of the 1.5 million links. But those were all links to anti-choice or religious sites or known anti-choice so-called scientists like Joel Brind.
Then I Scholar Googled it, which says that it has 83 scholarly citations.
That seemed low in the face of 1.5 million links on regular Google, but too many for me to waste time on. Especially since more than 100 of the world's leading experts have already concluded that there is no elevated risk of breast cancer after abortion.
So I went to PubMed Center, aka the US National Library of Medicine, where it says that nine other papers in its collection cited it.
I checked them out. One was not related to breast cancer but to colorectal cancer, so I didn't bother. Two were by our pal Joel Brind, aka 'a leading advocate of the abortion-breast cancer hypothesis, a theory rejected by major medical bodies'. I didn't bother with those either.
Of the remaining six, not one supported the Howe study and four specifically refuted it.
It seems to me that this study is so old and so oft-cited by the fetus fetishists that some researchers feel the need to at least nod at it in the References section.
Kinda the way someone writing a history of science would nod at phlogiston.
Barbara Kay is correct to say that the paper has not been withdrawn. But she's lying again when she says it has never been refuted.
This morning I asked Kay on Twitter if she stands behind only this study of the ones she links to in her column. No reply, but I'll update if there is one.
BONUS: Here's a real scientist taking on the BAD science of ABC (abortion-breast cancer) link. Fascinating and thorough.