Babs Kay is on her ABC (abortion = breast cancer) bullshit soap box Again. (That's a Do Not Link link, which I am going to use for all sites I don't want to get hits.)
This time she's citing a meta-study out of China -- where, you know, the health care system, abortion regime, environment, etc. etc. is exactly like North America.
Problem with this study is, as usual, its methodology, not to mention the obvious flaws in trying to compare these societies.
Short version: same old crap dressed up yet again as The Game Changer !!!!!!!!
Let's hear from an epidemiologist with the American Cancer named Susan Gapstur.
"The findings of this meta-analysis should be viewed with caution," Dr. Susan Gapstur told The Wire in an email. Gapstur is the vice president of epidemiology at the American Cancer Society. She notes that almost all of the studies cited in Dr. Huang's analysis used something called the case-control method, which tends to produce misleading results. In the case of the abortion-breast cancer link, women with breast cancer who self-report their reproductive histories tend to do so more accurately than women who are cancer-free. And in countries like China, where abortion still carries a significant stigma, that "recall bias" can be reinforced. "This 'recall bias' can make it look like breast cancer is associated with abortion when it is not," Gapstur explains. Case-control methods, it should be noted, have produced links between breast cancer and induced abortion before.Further, the most reliable studies in the mega-study do NOT find a link.
All but two of the studies included in Huang's analysis used the case-control method. The remaining two were prospective cohort studies, which track women over time, instead of relying on self-reported historical results. Those two studies, Gapstur notes, did not find a link between abortion and breast cancer. In fact, the eight studies that appear to be the most reliable of the group found no link between induced abortion and breast cancer risk. "The association only became apparent as the quality of the studies decreased," Gapstur told The Wire, noting that some of the included studies were not published in peer-reviewed publications. In other words, the work might not be vetted by independent professionals in the field.
Over at Lifeshite, Joel Brind, granddaddy of ABC himself, calls Dr Gapstur an 'epidemiologist'. Gee, I dunno, she looks pretty well qualified to me.
I'm sure you are as bored by this as I am, but I take it as a duty to call them out. Every. Single. Fucking. Time.
And, really, Babs should be ashamed of herself, peddling this fear and worry to women year after year, despite getting regularly smacked down for it.
ADDED: From Babs herself in the comments to her piece:
Barbara Kay is an opinion journalist and it is her job to present the side she finds more persuasive. Other opinion journalists are free to adduce evidence they feel is more persuasive. Let the debate go on.
Or, shorter: Babs Kay is free to make any shit up she wants without regard for normal journalistic standards of accuracy and truth.
ANOTHER ADDITION: A media release on the anti-choice book, Complications, that Babs touts in her column. And oh look who's giving it a rave review. Our old pal, serial research-fudger, and perfesser of home ec, Priscilla Coleman. Surprise, surprise.