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BIRTH CONTROL PILL / BREAST CANCER STUDY ANOTHER VICTIM OF BIASED REPORTING

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WASHINGTON, D.C. July 2, 2002 (LSN.ca) - Media reports on a study published in the June 27 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine claiming no link between taking oral contraceptives and breast cancer have come under fire for bias. “Unbiased reporting has taken a permanent holiday,” said American Life League president Judie Brown. “The recent media hype over a lopsided study arguing that the birth control pill does not contribute to a rise in the rate of breast cancer is further proof that fair reporting is history.”“A number of other studies document a link to breast cancer from taking the pill,” said Mrs. Brown. “The researchers who conducted these studies, as well as other experts in the field, would have certainly commented on the questionable aspects of the New England Journal of Medicine study. But major media outlets failed to interview any of them.”  Fr. Joseph Howard, director of the Bioethics Advisory Commission said “the study claims that 10 percent of the cases dropped out of the study after developing breast cancer for reasons such as ‘illness’ or ‘died before interview.’ This might have altered the results. It is likely that the risk could have been significantly higher.”  The study received rave reviews in publications such as USA Today, the Wall Street Journal and the Washington Post. However, American Life League points out that these three newspapers failed to include any comments from researchers who disagreed with the study. The papers also failed to report in detail on previous studies claiming a link between the pill and breast cancer.  “The birth control pill business is big business,” said Mrs. Brown. “The birth control pill can cause abortion; and therefore any attack on the pill is an attack on the abortion cartel. And that is something that the media simply does not allow.”

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