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Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
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While Cutting Family Planning Funds, Texas Lawmakers Divert Millions To Crisis Pregnancy Centers

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

Photo: N/A, License: N/A

However, leading medical organizations, including the non-partisan Texas Medical Association, refute such connections. In a letter sent to the HHSC, the Association calls information in the pamphlet “factually inaccurate and not science-based,” pointing to, among other factual discrepancies, the purported link between breast cancer and abortion. Both the National Cancer Institute and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) agree that abortions, “have not been shown to increase a woman’s chance of developing breast cancer,” they write. (The American Cancer Society and the American Medical Association also concur.) TMA additionally counters the brochure’s claim of increased risks in an otherwise healthy pregnancy among women who have experienced abortion, pointing out the statement fails to offer references and cannot be found in peer-reviewed medical literature.

Representing some 47,000 physicians and medical students, TMA requested a “more rigorous approach to reviewing these materials to help ensure that language is rooted in science and evidence-based clinical literature.”

“When it comes to abortion, our policy supports informed and nonjudgmental counseling between the patient and the physician,” wrote TMA Chair of Maternal and Perinatal Health Committee, Dr. Yasser Zeid. “Unfortunately, the existing materials do not reflect these principles.”

State and federal investigations show the misinformation is a systemic pattern among CPCs. A 2006 U.S. Congressional investigation found that the “vast majority” of such federally funded pregnancy resource centers under review, “misrepresented the medical consequences of abortion,” and “often grossly exaggerating the risks,” of abortion’s link to cancer, future infertility and mental health effects. NARAL Pro-Choice Texas conducted undercover investigations of their own in 2009, reporting that all the taxpayer-funded CPCs visited repeated the false link between abortion and breast cancer and that 67 percent of centers cited false information about the efficacy of condoms in preventing sexually transmitted diseases.

On the legislative front, state Rep. Sarah Davis (R-Houston), a breast cancer survivor herself and the lone GOP dissenter in this summer’s abortion law vote, attempted to correct the errors. Davis’ bill was left pending in committee, but during a September political conference, she vowed to reintroduce the legislation next session.

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