August 12, 2014 | Graham

Why OLO has published on the link between abortion and breast cancer

After the treatment meted out to Eric Abetz, possibly the last thing I wanted to see in my email inbox was an article from a credible academic, with credible evidence, that there could indeed be a link between abortion and breast cancer.

But there it was, and it has been published today. Despite the media reports there is an argument that can be made, and the fact that some people might take offence to that argument is no reason to avoid it.

The abortion breast cancer link is not one that I had heard much of before this article by Dr Lachlan Dunjey we published last week.

Eric Abetz was attacked on The Project by Mia Freedman, because of the views of speakers at a conference held by an organisation he supports. Freedman specifically chose the claim that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer as her point of attack.

While there was a range of speakers of varying points of view, some of whom represented political parties at odds with Abetz’ Liberal Party, apparently there was only one speaker he was supposed to support entirely, and that was Dr Angela Lanfranchi, who asserts that the abortion link exists.

Indeed, on Freedman’s logic, I ought to be held responsible for Dunjey’s article as well.

Abetz has been criticised not just by Freedman, but by the AMA and others, on the grounds that this claim is scientifically incorrect and akin to alleging a link between autism and vaccination.

A quick search of the Internet was enough to prove this claim wrong. While the preponderance of medical studies shows no link, there are some that do. There were no studies demonstrating the autism/vaccination link.

So it is more like studies of mobile phones and cancer where some studies show a link, but most don’t. On that basis I have been using a mobile phone, holding it close to my head, and in a pocket in my trousers, for about 22 years. I don’t feel the need to castigate someone who produces a new study contradicting what I believe to be the likely science.

Abetz was correct in everything he said to Freedman, and as she cut him off, we only have his word for what he was going on to say.

Which leads to this morning’s article by Joel Brind, Professor of biology and endocrinology at Baruch College, City University of New York.

In the end the decision to publish was easy. Brind is an expert in the field, and the evidence to back his case is strong, recent, and published in peer reviewed journals.

I do not warrant that he is right, but I do warrant he has a right to be published.

The reaction to Eric Abetz is yet more of the soft fascism currently invading our society where anything that offends collective beliefs is to be ridiculed and summarily dismissed because it doesn’t suit powerful vested interests – in this case the medical and female identity industries.

The problem is that not only does the right to free speech, including the right to say things that might not be right, rest on the basis of human rights, but it is a scientific necessity.

Those who try to limit it not only limit individual rights, but are anti-science, disputing the very methodology that has given us our extraordinarily wonderful and technological modern world.

And if in 20 years time the scientific consensus has swung to support Abetz and Brind, how would our soft fascists like to be treated then?


Posted by Graham at 8:28 am | Comments (7) |


  1. Congratulations on standing up and being counted Graham. I never thought I would see the day that I would sympathise with Eric Abetz but, you are right, the treatment handed out to him, not on the basis of what he said (or didn’t say), was typical of the ‘fascist’ reactions of many in our society today when faced by personal opinion and scientific analysis that confronts their narrow view of the world.

    Thanks for being prepared to present both sides of the debate.

    Comment by Ian Dalton — August 12, 2014 @ 9:37 am

  2. Agree Graham and in the name of so-called free speech!
    However, the same stats could equally link never ever choosing to breastfeed, or simply remaining deliberately barren, or have a possible genetic connection, and for that reason, remain inconclusive? All these other possible reason ought to be eliminated first, before arriving at such a premature conclusion!
    Senator Betz remains free to voice any opinion he chooses, or simply open his mouth to change socks!
    for a man as allegedly clever as this pomposity personified Tasmanian lawyer is, he seems terribly dumb sometimes, with his often patently confected public utterances?
    That said, we live in a supposedly democracy, albeit, the only one now without a bill of codified rights!
    More needed now than ever before, with big brother now wanting to open and peruse your mail etc?
    Allegedly they don’t want to know who you are or where you live? Just your name and address?
    Given I shared common initials and a common surname, I really had enough of that nonsense, [invasion of privacy,] as I was growing up and then deep into manhood!
    We just need a bill of rights, if only to stop the keystone cops locking up another Dr Haneef!
    And those sort of activities, do more to radicalize a particular group, than any amount of pulpit pounding!
    The agencies? that want this information? already have all the means needed to collect it; albeit, with a modicum of judicial oversight, and something I believe a population not protected by a bill of irrevocable rights, should never ever concede!
    Moreover, evidence emanating from America, Germany and elsewhere, shows very conclusively, that none of this information, (meta data) gathered at considerable cost and or invasion of basic privacy, has stopped one single act of homegrown terrorism. NOT ONE!
    These people meet face to face, of use carrier pigeons/messengers/couriers, like a little old lady on a tricycle, who looks for all the world as harmless as soap bubbles!
    Let “them/they” make a credible evidence based case or reason for change first, then riffle through your garbage, listen to all your conversations, hack you email, mobile phones etc, with complete impunity!
    And something that should be shined first on pollies, the most powerful and often most corrupted people in this fair land? (Be careful what you wish for!)
    Don’t take my word for it, just examine the passing parade perambulating through ICAC, and the various revelations coming from that!
    Were it not for bodies just like ICAC, these same personalities could very easily be blackmailed into revealing state secrets, providing covert assistance or just looking the other way? Or what have you, given a patent and self evident lack of moral fibre, or still functioning moral compass, all that stands in the way or prevents criminally corrupt behavior?
    Even so, and with all that off my chest; Senator Betz remains free to say black is white, or that we live in a true democracy, that he is completely incorruptible, or always right; never lies or bends the truth just to argue for a particular political position or anything else he likes.
    I miss most of what he does say, given all my attention is absorbed, listening to that unique accent, or the often absurd juxtapositions he makes, or just how absurd he looks, trying to at least look halfway intelligent, ( or a highly theatrical vest gripping, Do Right Dudley or Barnaby of the Bailey) rather than an patent completely clueless ideologue?
    Alan B. Goulding.

    Comment by Alan B. Goulding — August 12, 2014 @ 10:52 am

  3. Being a radio talk show host from Denver, Colorado, I don’t frequent Australian websites much, but wow, that article by Dr. Joel Brind on the explosion of the abortion breast cancer link was powerful, and moved me to join the On Line Opinion e-journal website. I noticed the link to Brind’s paper in the article at

    Thanks for publishing this information!

    Comment by Bob Enyart — August 13, 2014 @ 2:06 am

  4. Dear Bob, thanks for your support. I’ve had a look at your website and I’m a bit puzzled by it. It’s called Real Science Radio, but it appears to be a site attacking real science. From a quick perusal it attacks evolution and proposes a global flood.

    Comment by Graham — August 13, 2014 @ 7:56 am

  5. The research on that link has been around for a few years at least. Not so far-fetched, given that abortion must mess up hormones a bit.

    Comment by Ronda Jambe — August 13, 2014 @ 8:06 am

  6. Hello Graham, thanks for the thanks. We run a forum that has 10k+ users and a couple million posts, and we don’t like it when threads get hijacked and off topic. Is there a better thread where I can tell you about all the physicists, astronomers, molecular biologists, microscopists, mathematicians, etc., that I’ve done shows with, and the leading scientists that I’ve sparred with, including Lawrence Krauss, PZ Meyers, and Jerry Coyne? It’s fun to engage and debate the scientific evidence, even if to do so you have to stoop to talking with people who believe in aliens, an infinite number of universes, countless “YOUs” in other dimensions, etc. But then again, if you’re going to debate mainstream scientists, then that’s what you often have to put up with. No?

    Comment by Bob Enyart — August 14, 2014 @ 3:08 am

  7. For heaven’s sake, attacking Abetz for his illiberal views including those expressed to a collection of religious kooks does not justify any suggestion that Graham shouldn’t publish them. The guy is a Minister of the nation, albeit in a coalition elected as a result of a barrage of lies, and what he has said about abortion and breast cancer, for whatever may have motivated it, has led to a worthwhile discussion of reality.

    Comment by Dion Giles — August 14, 2014 @ 7:15 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed at this time.