Niamh Ui Bhriain

Abortion doesn’t cure cancer: science again confirms what we already know

Niamh Ui Bhriain
By Niamh Ui Bhriain
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April 3, 2012 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Last month brought great news for women who are battling cancer during pregnancy. A collection of studies published in the prestigious medical journal, The Lancet, showed that abortion is not required to treat pregnant women with breast cancer - because there “there is no evidence termination improves outcomes for the mother.”

Then there was further good news for women who become pregnant having completed treatment for cancer. Researchers found that they could safely have babies without increasing the risk of their breast cancer returning.

But while decent folk everywhere were cheering at this welcome news, abortion cheerleaders must have been seething. Science is confirming what best medical practise in Ireland has already shown - abortion is never medically necessary.

The fact remains that abortion is never needed to save women’s lives, and Irish doctors treat pregnant women with cancer on a daily basis without recourse to abortion. LifeSiteNews.com recently reported that one of Ireland’s leading oncologists, Dr. John Crowne, who said on Twitter that while he had faced some “hard decisions re: chemotherapy in pregnancy,” he had never had “a case where abortion was necessary to save mom.”

That doesn’t stop abortion campaigners from telling bare-faced lies, however, and the media is always on hand to amplify their scaremongering; making the entirely false claim that women need abortion to preserve their lives.

Cancer experts agree: chemotherapy does not harm the baby

The collection of research studies published in a special edition of the Lancet found that chemotherapy treatment after the first trimester does not harm the unborn child. Researchers said the evidence showed that women who developed cancer when pregnant did not need to abort their baby, delay their own treatment or give birth prematurely.

In a comment article on the findings, researchers with the Department of Gynaecologic Surgery at the French Institute Gustave Roussy, wrote that recommendations to abort could be an “unacceptable error.”

“Treatment of malignancy in pregnancy is still associated with unacceptable errors: eg, the sometimes unjustified termination of pregnancies or the choice of an inadequate strategy for treatment of a tumour with the risk of compromised survival,” they wrote.

Click “like” if you want to end abortion!

The Telegraph quoted the lead author on two of the studies, Dr. Frédéric Amant, at the Leuven Cancer Institute, in Belgium, as saying: “The patient and her partner should be informed about the different treatment options and the physician should explain that termination of pregnancy does not seem to improve maternal outcome”.

In an interview in the Lancet Dr. Amant said: “Fear of chemotherapy should not be a reason to terminate pregnancy,” adding that “there is no evidence termination improves outcomes for the mother.”

The series of studies published in The Lancet and Lancet Oncology showed that children born to women who were given chemotherapy while pregnant developed as well as children in the general population.

In just one study, researchers in Belgium followed 70 such children and found they had normal development, IQ, hearing, heart function and general health.

Babies who were born prematurely had lower IQ scores, which is thought to be connected to the early birth rather than the drugs as this is seen in babies not exposed to chemotherapy, the researchers said.

What was most remarkable was that the studies showing abortion is not required for pregnant women with breast cancer were followed weeks later by the findings of another study, presented March 21st this year at the European Breast Cancer Conference in Vienna (EBCC-8), that also overturned previous advice to women. In cases where a woman who had been successfully treated for breast cancer became pregnant, women had often been advised to have an abortion. But this new research found that there was no difference in the survival rates of women who became pregnant after having breast cancer and those who did not.

The findings were presented at EBCC-8 by lead researcher Dr. Hatem Azim, a medical oncologist at the Jules Bordet Institute in Brussels.

Dr. Azim said, “Frequently, when women with history of breast cancer become pregnant, some physicians advise them to have an abortion for fear that completing the pregnancy could have a detrimental effect on the outcome of their disease.

“We found that this was not true and the outcome was similar, irrespective of whether the pregnancy was completed or not.”

The cancer expert said that the findings meant that “abortion should not be promoted for therapeutic reasons” for pregnant women with a history of breast cancer.

Meanwhile, Irish abortion industry lobbyists continue to push for “medically necessary” abortion to “save women’s lives”.

The debate on abortion is currently raging in Ireland and it was quite remarkable that these findings went almost unreported by the Irish media. It is crucially important then that the pro-life movement ensures that the public are informed as to what science, rather than the abortion industry, has to say.

The Lancet interview also revealed that for Dr. Amant an early experience of caring for a pregnant woman with cervical cancer was pivotal in shaping the course of his career.

“She told me her early diagnosis was thanks to the pregnancy. So she wanted to give her baby the chance he had given her.”

This is what medicine should strive for - treating mother and baby, and doing best for both. These studies add to the evidence recorded by the Irish experience which proves doctors don’t need abortion to save women’s lives. It’s time for the scaremongering to stop.


Read more here:

Lancet Article #1
Lancet Article #2
European Cancer Organization article


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Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus

African researchers warn early sexual activity increases risk of cancers

Thaddeus Baklinski Thaddeus Baklinski Follow Thaddeus
By Thaddeus Baklinski

A report on rising cancer rates in Africa delivered at a conference in Namibia last week warned that oral contraceptives and engaging in sexual activity from a young age lead to an increased risk of breast and reproductive system cancers.

Researchers presented the "2014 Integrated Africa Cancer Fact Sheet & Summary Score Card" during the 8th Stop Cervical, Breast and Prostate Cancer in Africa (SCCA) conference, held in Windhoek, Namibia from July 20 to 22, noted that cancer is a growing health problem in many developing countries and that breast and cervical cancer are the most common forms affecting African women.

The report said that sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) play a major role in reproductive system cancers and that young girls who engage in sexual activity risk getting, among other STDs, the human papilloma virus (HPV), some strains of which are linked to cervical cancer.

The report said although HPV infections are common in healthy women, they are usually fought off by the body’s immune system, with no discernible symptoms or health consequences.

The Cancer Association of South Africa points out that of the scores of HPV types, 14 of the more than 40 sexually transmitted varieties are considered "high risk" for causing serious illness, while two, HPV-16 and HPV-18, are linked to cervical cancer.

“Long-term use of oral contraceptives is also associated with increased risk [of cancer], and women living with HIV-AIDS are at increased risk of cervical cancer,” the report said.

Dr. Thandeka Mazibuko, a South African oncologist, told the conference attendees that when an 18-year-old is diagnosed with cervical cancer, “this means sex is an important activity in her life and she indulged from a young age.”

Mazibuko said the standard treatment for cancer of the cervix is seven weeks of radiation therapy.

“After the treatment they cannot have sex with their husbands or partners. They cannot bear children because everything has been closed up. Some may still have the womb but radiation makes them infertile,” Mazibuko said, according to a report in The Namibian.

Statistics from the Cancer Association of Namibia show that cases of cervical cancer have risen from 129 in 2005 to 266 in 2012.

The SCCA Conference theme was, "Moving forward to end Cervical Cancer by 2030: Universal Access to Cervical Cancer Prevention."

In his keynote address, host and Namibian President Hifikepunye Lucas Pohamba urged African countries to help each other to expand and modernize health care delivery in the continent.

"Within the context of the post-2015 Development Agenda and sustainable development goals, the provision of adequate health care to African women and children must be re-emphasized," said the president, according to AllAfrica.

The Namibian leader urged mothers to breastfeed their children for at least six months as a measure to prevent breast cancer.


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Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary

Allow ‘lethal injection’ for poor to save on palliative care: Lithuanian health minister

Hilary White Hilary White Follow Hilary
By Hilary White

Euthanasia is a solution for terminally ill poor people who cannot afford palliative care and who do not want to “see their families agonize” over their suffering, Lithuania’s health minister said last week.

In an interview on national television, Minister Rimantė Šalaševičiūtė added that the Belgian law on child euthanasia ought to be “taken into account” as well. 

Šalaševičiūtė told TV3 News that Lithuania, a country whose population is 77 percent Catholic, is not a welfare state and cannot guarantee quality palliative care for all those in need of it. The solution, therefore, would be “lethal injection.”

“It is time to think through euthanasia in these patients and allow them to make a decision: to live or die,” she said.

Direct euthanasia remains illegal in the Balkan state, but activists tried to bring it to the table in 2012. A motion to drop the planned bill was passed in the Parliament in March that year in a vote of 75 to 14. Since then the country has undergone a change in government in which the far-left Social Democrats have formed the largest voting bloc.

Šalaševičiūtė is a member of Parliament for the Social Democrats, the party originally established in the late 19th century – re-formed in the late 1980s – from Marxist principles and now affiliated with the international Party of European Socialists and Socialist International.

Fr. Andrius Narbekovas, a prominent priest, lecturer, physician, bioethicist, and member of the government’s bioethics committee, called the suggestion “satanic,” according to Delfi.lt. He issued a statement saying it is the purpose of the Ministry of Health to “protect the health and life, instead of looking for ways to take away life.”

“We understand that people who are sick are in need of funds. But a society that declares itself democratic, should very clearly understand that we have to take care of the sick, not kill them,” he said.


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Islamists in Mosul mark Christian homes with an Arabic "N" for Nazarene.
Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.

We must open wide our doors to Iraq’s Christians

Gualberto Garcia Jones, J.D.
By Gualberto Garcia Jones J.D.

On July 18, the largest Christian community in Iraq, the Chaldean Catholics of Mosul, were given a grotesque ultimatum: leave your ancestral home, convert to Islam, or die.

All but forgotten by the 1.2 billion Catholics of the world, these last Christians who still speak Jesus’ native tongue of Aramaic and live in the land of Abraham and Jonah are being wiped out before our very eyes.

As a way of issuing a thinly-veiled threat, reminiscent of the Nazi persecution of the Jews, the Arabic letter “N” (for Nazarean) has been painted on the outside of the homes of all known Christians in Mosul.

These threats, issued by the fanatical Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) known for its bloodthirsty rampage of executions, have been taken very seriously by the several hundred thousand Christians in Mosul who have left with little more than the clothes they were wearing. 

At least most of these Christians were able to flee and find temporary protection among the Kurds in their semi-autonomous region.  However the Kurds do not have the resources to defend or shelter the Chaldean Christians for much longer.

On Monday, during an interview on Fox News, Republican U.S. Rep. Frank Wolf, who recently joined with 54 other members of the House of Representatives in a letter to President Obama asking him to act to protect these communities, stated that while Iraqi President Maliki had sent military flights to Mosul to evacuate Shiite Muslims, the US has done nothing to protect the Chaldean Christians.  Rep. Wolf also stated emphatically that President Obama has done “almost nothing” about the genocide taking place.

The silence from the White House is deafening.  But the lack of leadership from the hierarchy of the Catholic Church in America has been shocking as well.

Nevertheless, the plight of these Iraqi Christians is beginning to be taken seriously.   This is due in large part to the heroic efforts of local Iraqi religious leaders like Chaldean Patriarch Sako, who has gone on a whirlwind tour of the world to alert us all of the plight of these Iraqi Christians.  In a statement demonstrating his character, he told the Christians of Iraq last week, “We are your shepherds, and with our full responsibility towards you we will stay with you to the end, will not leave you, whatever the sacrifices.”

Before the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq was launched there were approximately 1.5 to 2 million Christians living in Iraq.  Today, there are believed to be less than 200,000.  The numbers speak for themselves.

Now that the world is beginning to be aware of the genocide in Northern Iraq, many of us ask ourselves: what can we do?  As citizens and as Christians blessed to live in nations with relative peace and security, what can we do?

The answer is quite simple and unexpected.  Demand that our government and church pull its head out of the sand and follow France. Yes, France.  

Yesterday, in a heroic gesture of Christian solidarity that would make Joan of Arc proud, the government of France opened wide its doors to the persecuted Iraqi Christians.  

”France is outraged by these abuses that it condemns with the utmost firmness," Laurent Fabius, France's foreign minister, and Bernard Cazeneuve, France's interior minister, said in a joint statement on Monday.

"The ultimatum given to these communities in Mosul by ISIS is the latest tragic example of the terrible threat that jihadist groups in Iraq, but also in Syria and elsewhere, pose to these populations that are historically an integral part of this region," they added. "We are ready, if they wish, to facilitate their asylum on our soil.  We are in constant contact with local and national authorities to ensure everything is done to protect them.”

The French statement drives home three crucial elements that every government, especially the United States, should communicate immediately:

  1. Recognize the genocide and name the perpetrators and victims.

  2. Officially condemn what is happening in the strongest terms.

  3. Offer a solution that includes cooperation with local authorities but which leads by making solid commitments such as offering asylum or other forms of protection.

With regard to the Church, we should look to the Chaldean Patriarch and the Iraqi bishops who shared their expectations explicitly in an open letter to “all people of conscience in Iraq and around the world” to take “practical actions to assure our people, not merely expressions of condemnation.”  Noticeably, the last section of the letter from the Iraqi bishops, before a final prayer to God, is an expression of thanks to the Kurdish government, which has welcomed them not just with “expressions” of goodwill but, like France, with a sacrificial hospitality.

On Friday, July 25, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops did issue a statement, but unfortunately it lacked much in terms of leadership or solutions.  We should encourage our bishops to do better than that, be bolder and stronger for our persecuted brothers and sisters, name names and offer concrete sacrificial aid. In a word, be more like the French.

In 1553, Rome welcomed the Chaldean church into the fold of the Catholic Church.  Nearly 500 years later, Catholic Americans must find ways to welcome these persecuted people into our country, into our churches, and into our own homes if need be.

I say, I am with you St. Joan of Arc.   I am with you, France.  I am with you, Chaldeans!

Gualberto Garcia Jones is the Executive Director of the International Human Rights Group, a non-profit organization based in Washington, DC, that seeks to advance the fundamental rights to life, the natural family, and religious liberty through international law and international relations. 


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