China: One Child Policy Linked to Breast Cancer — Study

TIANJIN, CHINA. A medical study from China, released last week, has revealed an additional way in which women are victimized by the One-Child Policy: significantly increased risk of breast cancer.

Researchers in China have found that the dramatic rise in breast cancer in China is associated with the prevalence of induced abortions (IA) under the One-Child Policy. The study, conducted by a team of epidemiologists from Tianjin Medical University Cancer Hospital, analyzed data from over 36 different studies in both the United States and China. Their conclusion:

“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.”Specifically, the study found that one IA increases a woman’s risk of breast cancer by 44 percent, two by 76 percent, and three by 89 percent.

The study notes that historically, China has had low breast cancer rates when compared with Western nations, but “the incidence of breast cancer in China ha[s] increased at an alarming rate over the past two decades.”The study notes that this rise “was paralleled to the one-child-per-family policy.” The introduction of the policy has led to a dramatic increase and acceptance of induced abortion in China, where “approximately 40 pregnancies are aborted for every 100 living births.”

While the One-Child Policy has received criticism for perpetuating gendercide, forced abortion and other forms of coercion, this new study shows an additional harm to women. Women’s Rights Without Frontiers President Reggie Littlejohn released the following statement in response to the Tianjin study:

“This groundbreaking study reveals yet another human rights violation in connection with China’s One Child Policy:  forcibly aborted women are also at significantly higher risk of breast cancer.   Not only do the women of China have to endure the tremendous trauma of late term forced abortion, taking their babies from them; but also, years later, breast cancer, taking their health and even their lives from them.  The strong association of abortion and breast cancer established by this study brings the women’s rights violations under the One Child Policy to a new level:  a woman pregnant in China without a birth permit is subjected to both government imposed forced abortion, and also breast cancer as a result of it. Where abortion is forced, the subsequent development of breast cancer becomes a violation of women’s rights in itself.”

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