TASMANIA, January 3, 2002 (LSN.ca) – During the debate after which Australian legislators in Tasmania voted in favour of permitting more abortions, it was revealed that a woman who underwent an abortion was awarded a settlement since she was not informed that abortion is associated with a higher risk of breast cancer. RFM News reports that the plaintiff’s attorney in the lawsuit, Charles Francis, Queen’s Counsel, had cautioned the parliamentarians about the possibility of increased litigation against abortion providers which might occur as a result of expanding abortion rights.
“In Victoria, civil claims for negligence from women suing their abortionists are becoming much more common. Doctors haven’t warned them and about 10 per cent have serious psychological repercussions,” said Francis.
The plaintiff, who cannot be publicly identified, due to a confidentiality clause in the settlement agreement, said her physician had not informed her of the research connecting abortion with an elevated breast cancer risk. The plaintiff proved her physician failed to secure informed consent, prior to her abortion, which led to this landmark decision. Francis commented on the settlement and also discussed additional cases in which plaintiffs alleged they suffered emotionally as a result of their abortions. Francis stated the plaintiffs in the emotional distress cases had obtained “quite large, out of court settlements.”
RFM notes that since 1957, 28 of 37 studies have concluded abortion increases the risk of breast cancer in women.