Gayle Atteberry: Breast cancer diagnosis

Gayle Atteberry_thb

by Gayle Atteberry

Dear Oregon,

I wanted to take a few minutes to address all that pink you’ve been seeing in stores, on athletes and on your TV screen. October is Breast Cancer Awareness month and it has never hit home harder for me than this year.

“We did find cancer cells in your breast biopsy,” said the doctor matter-of-factly. Cancer!!! I was stunned, shocked senseless with words I never thought I would hear! Cancer happens to other people, not to me! The doctor’s words were droning on: ”…we need to start treatment right away; do you have a surgeon, or would you like me to recommend one?” Treatment! Am I going to die? My mind raced. The thought of heaven was a peaceful one in this sin-filled, trouble-wracked world. But am I ready to leave my family just now? How could I find someone to take my job quickly? My mind darted to all of the things I needed to do before I die. The doctor’s voice was assuring me that she would have the surgeon call and set up an appointment quickly. I hung up the phone.

My mind bounced from thought to thought, but before much time elapsed, anger welled up inside of me…anger at abortion! While I knew that abortion was not the cause of my cancer (ten years of hormonal replacement therapy is a likely culprit), it is a fact that women choosing abortion have a significantly higher chance of abortion than women who do not. My anger grew as I next thought of Planned Parenthood, who vehemently denies the abortion-breast cancer link, all the while pocketing millions of dollars annually as the nation’s largest abortion-provider.

My mind focused next on a gentleman who sat in front of my desk two years previously as a result of an article I wrote condemning the Susan G. Komen Foundation for giving donations to Planned Parenthood affiliates around the nation. As head of the Oregon affiliate of the Komen Foundation, he was asking me to relent of my words. Even though the Oregon affiliate had not given to Planned Parenthood, he could give me no promise, no policy, no principle, that would prevent it from giving to Planned Parenthood in the future. He even attempted to defend the practice. I told him I found it unconscionable that an organization whose sole purpose was to find a cure for breast cancer would donate to an organization whose main action was one that could cause the cancer they were trying to heal.

Over 60 epidemiological studies conducted in countries throughout the world show an increased risk of breast cancer in women who have had abortions. Patrick Caroll, Director of Research for the UK Pension and Population Research Institute, says “legally induced abortion is found to be the best predictor of British breast cancer trends.” Dr. Janet Daling, pro-choice researcher with Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle found in a 1994 study that “among women who had been pregnant at least once, the risk of breast cancer in those who had experienced an induced abortion was 50% higher than among other women.” Daling also found that “teenagers under age 18 and women over 29 years of age who procure an abortion increase their breast cancer risk by more than 100%.” Her most alarming find was that “teenagers with a family history of breast cancer who procure an abortion face a risk of breast cancer that is incalculably high. All 12 women in her study with this history were diagnosed with breast cancer by the age of 45″. [Janet R. Daling et al., “Risk of Breast Cancer Among Young Women: Relationship to Induced Abortion,” 86 Journal of the National Cancer Institute; (1994);1584]

My breast surgery in late September revealed the cancer has spread. Fear, uncertainty, chemo treatments. I do not wish these things on any woman. Breast cancer is the second leading cause of cancer deaths among women. Over 232,000 women are expected to be diagnosed with invasive breast cancer in 2014, and 40,000 women are projected to die of it. Many factors put women at risk for breast cancer, most of which women are beginning to be made aware of. However, the abortion-breast cancer link is the one risk factor that is covered over for “politically correct” reasons. It must be added to list so that women choosing abortion will have full knowledge ahead of time. Women who have had abortions must be more alert and diligent to get regular mammograms.

Abortion has become a “sacred right,” protected by abortion advocacy groups who would rather protect abortion rights than the women they claim to represent. Women are suffering a tremendous disservice in order to protect the pocket books of abortion providers. We are living in an age proud of its “full disclosure” for every decision. Shouldn’t every woman contemplating an abortion be given all the information she needs to make an informed choice? We certainly owe her that much.

Consider making a donation to help towards the end breast cancer to: The Breast Cancer Prevention Institute. Please, schedule your mammogram appointment today! For more information on the ABC link, see

Gayle Atteberry
Executive Director of Oregon Right to Life