HAD AN ABORTION? CALL AN ATTORNEY!
By Andrew Schlafly, Esq.
Andrew Schlafly, Esq., is general counsel to the Association of American Physicians & Surgeons.
After emotional and spiritual counseling needs have been addressed, what can we say to a woman who has recently
had an abortion?
Answer: Call an attorney.
According to numerous reports, abortion increases the risk of breast cancer. However, the abortion industry and
medical establishment withhold this information in an attempt to prevent massive lawsuits from being filed. Many
abortion proponents allege that the abortion-breast cancer (ABC) link is fabricated, but comparisons among similar
countries only reinforce the connection.
In Ireland, for example, the breast cancer rate is about one in 13 – approximately half of the one in 7.5 rate in
the United States. The difference: Ireland bans abortion, while the United States promotes it. In England, abortion
is common and breast cancer rates are high. But in Northern Ireland, the breast cancer rates are significantly
lower than in England. This is because abortion there is legal, but uncommon.
Romania, which enjoyed one of the lowest breast cancer rates in the entire world until 1990, displays a similar
dynamic. Romania’s breast cancer rate was once an astounding one-sixth the rate of the United States. But since
abortion’s legalization and widespread promotion, breast cancer rates have sharply increased. In the information
packet for the Word Conference on Breast Cancer ( July, 1997), a Romanian observer lamented, "The
liberalization of abortion in Romania in 1990, the significant increase of the number of abortions at relatively
short intervals, determined a rise in the incidence of breast and uterine cervix cancer in my country."
So what does all this mean for an abortion victim? For the rest of her life, she should be on the lookout for breast
cancer. Her chance of developing the disease may have risen from only one in 13 to one in three, depending on her
original risk. Dr. Chris Kahlenborn, an internist in Pennsylvania who has studied the increase in breast
cancer from abortion, cited a study showing that women who have a genetic disposition towards breast cancer see
their risk of developing the disease before age 45 rise to one in one after an abortion – a virtual certainty.
Breast cancer cases already constitute the most popular form of malpractice actions, as attorneys sue physicians
for not diagnosing the condition sooner. The average payout is $200,000. The malpractice crisis is primarily due
to the rise in breast cancer, and high abortion rates are imposing this cost on all medical care.
Yet the worst still lies ahead. Most victims of abortion haven’t reached the ages most susceptible to breast
cancer. The wave of breast cancer cases seen to date is likely just the beginning. The tsunami of breast cancer
cases from the large number of abortions in the l980s and 1990s has yet to hit.
Today, a victim of abortion faces a heightened risk of developing breast cancer in 10, 20 or 30 years. But would
the mother have agreed to that abortion had she known about her risk? Many, perhaps most, would not.
Only three states – Texas, Mississippi, and Minnesota – have statutes expressly requiring abortion providers to
inform their patients that abortion may increase the risk of breast cancer. But under pressure by pro-abortion groups,
Minnesota’s health department backed away from its own requirement in its materials. A fourth state, Kansas,
provides the information through state publications, including its web site. However, two other states, Alabama
and Louisiana, have retreated from disclosing the increased risk. This is because the abortion industry is
powerful and will do anything – including exerting pressure in particular states – to conceal this risk from
In Mississippi, where disclosure of the risk became mandatory in 1996, many women have decided against having an
abortion. Mothers cannot procure an abortion there until they sign a form indicating they’ve specifically been
told about an increased ABC risk. In response to this and other requirements, abortions have dramatically fallen
in Mississippi. In 1991, the number of abortions performed there was 8,814; and in 2002, the latest year for which
data is available, this number dropped to 3,605; a decline of nearly 60 percent. If that trend spread nationwide,
more than 500,000 infants would be saved annually.
WHAT VICTIMS CAN DO
If a victim was not told her abortion could increase her risk of breast cancer, then she may not have given
"informed consent" and should consult an attorney.
All physicians have a general duty to obtain "informed consent" from patients prior to any operation. This same
duty applies to abortion, just as it would apply to repairing a broken arm or removing an appendix. Even patients
who receive vaccinations are entitled to know the risks associated with it, and their consent is only meaningful
if it is fully informed.
Mothers who have undergone abortion without full disclosure are beginning to exercise their legal rights
– as they should. One lawsuit on this issue in Pennsylvania has already settled on confidential terms, after a
lawsuit on similar grounds succeeded in Australia. Pennsylvania does not have a law expressly requiring that
abortion providers disclose a connection with breast cancer, but the common law imposes a duty of informed consent
in nearly all states.
Similarly, an Oregon judge approved a settlement paid on behalf of an abortion provider there to a 19-year-old
girl with a family history of breast cancer. The girl was not told of an increased risk when she had an abortion
at age 15. Nevertheless, she recovered damages in her youth, even though she has not developed breast cancer.
If there was a lack of informed consent, then those who made money from the abortion should be held liable by
the court system for that cost.
FINDING LEGAL HELP
Lawsuits for personal injury or malpractice are typically pursued on a contingency basis. In practical terms
that means the patient or victim typically doesn't pay any of the costs or fees related to such a lawsuit. The
attorney bears the expenses of investigating the facts, hiring an expert, paying the filing fees, and prosecuting
the matter until its conclusion.
The greater the injury and higher the claim for damages, the more willing an attorney will be to pursue the case.
If the abortion victim, for example, has a family history of breast cancer, and she was not told that the
abortion heightens her risk then her abortion may have given her a death sentence without her consent. Thus, she
has a claim for a potentially shortened life, substantial medical expenses, loss of employment, and mental
distress because her consent was not informed.
Whether she lives in a state mandating disclosure or not, her legal action is simple. At trial, a jury should
hear how an operation causing her this increased risk was performed without her informed consent. The jury will
then decide how much to award the victim.
Even many people who favor abortion disapprove of concealing or withholding medical information from patients
about the procedure. Though the legal profession, and particularly the judiciary, tends to support abortion more
that other professions, the doctrine of informed consent is well established. Inevitably, abortionists who do
not inform mothers of the risks of the procedure will lose in court.
The abortion industry is analogous to the tobacco industry of decades ago, which was finally held liable for the
costs it imposed on individuals and society. Any industry that profits from causing cancer will be held liable by
juries for injuries it causes. Injuries also include problems beyond breast cancer. For example, the heightened
risk of premature births for future children may lead to greater claims.
Our legal system properly requires businesses to pay for the harm they cause. If an industry can avoid liability
for its harm, then it will exploit that advantage at the expense of innocent victims. However, the legal system
can prevent that from happening. Many victims of abortion face future breast cancer, which will impose enormous
costs, and the abortion industry should pay those costs. Perhaps abortion clinics would be less profitable and
far fewer in number if they were financially obligated to pay the costs caused by their operations.
NOTE: Persons with ABC link cases or questions can email Andrew Schlafly with "abortion" in the subject line
at: ASchlafly@aol.com. This article does not constitute legal advice and
readers should consult their own attorneys.
Coalition on Abortion Breast Cancer Link –
The Pill and Breast Cancer Link – www.Polycarp.org
Abortion and risk of Premature Birth – 60 studies -
March of Dimes covers up Premie Birth/Abortion Link -