When I first read the headline on Monday I was overcome with joy. I thought Susan G Komen had finally come to its senses and realized that being partnered up with Planned Parenthood was bad for business. However, as I continued to read I discovered the only reason SGK severed ties with Planned Parenthood was because of the current Congressional investigation into their misappropriation of funds. Why is being associated with Planned Parenthood bad for business other than the bad publicity received for being associated with the largest provider of abortions in the world? Let's look at the abortion information first.
First of all, as a research institution dedicated to breast cancer, you must be aware of the links between abortion and breast cancer. This was reported in 1986 in Great Britain, "Induced abortion before first term pregnancy increases the risk of breast cancer" (Lancet, 2/22/86, p. 436). Not only does the abortion itself raise the risk of breast cancer, but the delaying of a first full-term pregnancy also presents a risk. Eight different, independent Medical Organizations have recognized the link between abortion and breast cancer. These organizations are: The National Physicians Center for Family Resources, Catholic Medical Association, American Association of Pro-Life Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Breast Cancer Prevention Institute, The Polycarp Research Institute, Ethics and Medics, MasterCare International and Breast Care Center-EAMC. Plus, another group, The Association of American Physicians and Surgeons, supports disclosure of the possibility that abortion may lead to breast cancer.
Secondly, Planned Parenthood is also the largest provider of oral contraceptives (OCs) in the world. According to a 1996 analysis conducted by the Collaborative Group on Hormonal Factors in Breast Cancer, "women who were current or recent users of birth control pills had a slightly elevated risk of developing breast cancer. The risk was highest for women who started using OCs as teenagers." The study continued, "However, 10 or more years after women stopped using OCs, their risk of developing breast cancer returned to the same level as if they had never used birth control pills." Unfortunately for many women using oral contraceptives, they are being diagnosed with breast cancer in their thirties (less than 10 years after discontinuing use of the pill). Aside from the increased risk of breast cancer, oral contraceptives also increase the risk of cervical cancer and liver cancer. This information is available at www.cancer.gov.
Also, and probably most importantly, the World Health Organization has classified The Pill as a Group I Carcinogen according to a 2005 report released by The International Agency for Research on Cancer.
While I could also fill this post with moral and ethical reasons why Susan G Komen should not partner with Planned Parenthood, I will let the scientific data speak for itself.