A recently published study by Chinese researchers may provide definitive evidence for the pro-life claim that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer.
Published in the November edition of the international journal Cancer Causes & Control, the research was derived from a "meta-analysis" of 36 studies centered on 14 Chinese provinces.
Yubei Huang, et. al., sought to confirm if a link could be found between Induced Abortion (IA) and an increased likelihood of breast cancer.
"IA is significantly associated with an increased risk of breast cancer among Chinese females, and the risk of breast cancer increases as the number of IA increases," reads the Conclusion section of the study's abstract.
"If IA were to be confirmed as a risk factor for breast cancer, high rates of IA in China may contribute to increasing breast cancer rates."
The 12 authors for the study were affiliated with entities including the Tianjin Medical University, Project Office, Tianjin Women's and Children's Health Center, and the Department of Social Medicines and Health Service Management, School of Public Health, Tianjin Medical University, all of Tianjin, China.
For years, pro-life organizations have claimed that there is an increased risk of breast cancer for women who have an induced abortion.
The reasoning stems in part from the documented trend that women who have a completed pregnancy are at a reduced chance of breast cancer.
At present, many scientific and philanthropic organizations have denied that a strong link between breast cancer and abortion exists.
In a statement from 2011, the breast cancer awareness group Susan G. Komen denied that induced abortions contribute to an increased risk of breast cancer.
"Scientific evidence from the most comprehensive and well-designed studies in the U.S. and around the world does not support the conclusion that induced abortion or miscarriage raises the risk of breast cancer," reads the Komen statement, which cited research from the National Cancer Institute.
Opponents of the ABC link have pointed to a 1990s study done in Denmark that surveyed the possible connection drawing from government records, according to the American Cancer Society.
"In this study, all Danish women born between 1935 and 1978 (a total of 1.5 million women) were linked with the National Registry of Induced Abortions and with the Danish Cancer Registry," reads an entry on ACS' website.
"After adjusting for known breast cancer risk factors, the researchers found that induced abortion(s) had no overall effect on the risk of breast cancer. The size of this study and the manner in which it was done provide good evidence that induced abortion does not affect a woman's risk of developing breast cancer."
The recent China meta-analysis is not the only major study whose findings imply a vindication of the ABC link claim. In 1996, Brind, et. al., of the Department of Natural Sciences, Baruch College, City University of New York found a slight increase in risk.
"Although the increase in risk was relatively low, the high incidence of both breast cancer and induced abortion suggest a substantial impact of thousands of excess cases per year currently, and a potentially much greater impact in the next century, as the first cohort of women exposed to legal induced abortion continues to age," reads the conclusion section of their abstract.