Some of you reading this post will automatically assume that I’m writing this as I’m obviously not ‘truly’ pro-life. In order to be totally transparent, I do consider myself broadly pro-life, but I also exist in a world consisting of grey areas, and so am certainly not as black-and-white in my thinking as some of my co-religious.
I make this clear from the off as I came under considerable fire when I wrote an article criticising the tactics employed by the recent 40 Days for Life Campaign.
From that experience it became plainly obvious to me that any legitimate criticism of the pro-life movement will inevitably result in accusations of being an “armchair warrior” and not being ‘truly’ pro-life.
The reason I wrote that article – and this one – is that I believe the pro-life movement must be scrupulously above reproach in all its doings to be effective.
And so to the “Abortion causes breast cancer” hypothesis that has been doing the rounds and has even made it as far as the greatly esteemed Catholic Herald.
This hypothesis has been touted heavily on Twitter and of course on pro-life websites such as LifeSiteNews.
This ‘hypothesis’ is being pushed as ‘scientific fact’ and used as a powerful argument against abortion.
The problem is that no such link has been conclusively proved scientifically.
In fact the oppositite is true.
It’s not my remit here to delve into the immensely complex scientific arguments, especially given that this has been comprehensively dealt with by the Ministry of Truth:
Debunking the Abortion-Breast Cancer Hypothesis – pt1.
Debunking the Abortion-Breast Cancer Hypothesis – pt2.
Debunking the Abortion-Breast Cancer Hypothesis – pt3.
Debunking the Abortion-Breast Cancer Hypothesis – pt4.
In case you can’t be bothered to read the content on those links, allow me to furnish you with the conclusion taken from part 5:
…the totality of the worldwide epidemiological evidence indicates that pregnancies ending as either spontaneous or induced abortions do not have adverse effects on women’s subsequent risk of developing breast cancer.
It seems obvious to me that propagating unscientific claims to bolster the pro-life movement is at best counter-productive and at worst utterly undermining. Folk in general are not stupid and if they begin to distrust and feel duped by the information emanating from pro-life groups then the argument is lost.
There are many powerful, poignant and persuasive pro-life arguments and resorting to ‘spurious science’ is not necessary.
Whilst I’m angering my co-religious I would also like to make the obvious point that undermining palliative care methods is not going to assist the pro-life fight against euthanasia.
There’s much talk recently about the Liverpool Care Pathway operating as a back door route to euthanasia. This system of palliative care has been carefully developed for those in the very last hours or days of their lives.
In this regard I would encourage you to read an article written by Dr Peter Saunders in defense of the Liverpool Care Pathway and it’s fair to say that Dr Saunders’ pro-life credentials are impeccable.
Dr Saunders concludes:
In good hands the LCP is a great clinical tool. But in the wrong hands, or used for the wrong patient, any tool can do more harm than good.
So my advise is to check the validity of scientific claims before adopting them for the pro-life cause and stop attacking palliative care, as confidence in these same excellent medical guidelines are exactly what is needed to dissuade folk from euthanasia.
Tags: Science & Medical