Simcha Fisher, author of The Sinner’s Guide to Natural Family Planning writes for several publications and blogs daily at Aleteia. She lives in New Hampshire with her husband and ten children. Without supernatural aid, she would hardly be a human being.
When I was looking for a title to put on this post, I discovered that anything using "think" and "pink" has already been taken -- and that's a good thing. It means that more people are becoming more savvy about the lucrative industry of pink merchandising that has risen up around breast cancer.
The blogger at Cancer in My Thirties has had a bilateral mastectomy and lymph node surgeries which she calls "physically and emotionally disfiguring," and she still suffers, years later, from pain, infections, nerve damage, and loss of range of motion.
I am not a ranter by any means and I have been pretty quiet about “Pinktober” and what has come to be known as “Pinkwashing” in breast cancer circles, but seeing October 13th advertised as “National No Bra Day” and as a “fun” way to support people with breast cancer has pushed me over the edge.
She argues that cutesy campaigns -- especially those that encourage women to flaunt their breasts in remarkably tone-deaf solidarity of women who've lost theirs -- minimize the horror of the disease, and make people feel good about being "supportive" for doing little or nothing to actually help.
She decries the commercialism that surrounds breast cancer, pointing out that
The stores are filled with pink as companies try to make a buck off breast cancer. If you look carefully at these products, you’ll find that some of them don’t even donate a cent to breast cancer awareness, support, research, etc. And oftentimes those that do make a very minimal donation–and not always to organizations/programs where the money is well spent.
I have always thought that, if I were a breast cancer survivor, I'd be livid at the juvenile "save the ta-tas" campaign (popular with ostensibly compassionate teenage boys) which suggests that breast cancer is bad because it might deprive men of their playthings. Overall, if there is something wrong with me, I want to be the one who decides when to make light of it and when to weep.
But allowing women to weep is not profitable. Selling pink merchandise is. If you want to know why pink campaigns are so popular, it's easy to understand: follow the money.
It shouldn't be true when we're talking about the health and lives of women, but it is. Follow the money. Susan G. Komen, arguably the best known breast cancer research organization, really make you hunt to read that women who take hormonal birth control are at an increased risk of breast cancer. Why? Anyone who remembers last February's Planned Parenthood thuggery will understand. It's all about the money. It's always all about the money.
Planned Parenthood's business model depends heavily on the promotion of hormonal birth control, a Class 1 carcinogen.
Planned Parenthood strives mightily to present itself as an organization which provides mammograms, when in fact it does not. It only supplies referrals (if that) to medical facilities which do mammograms, which includes Susan G. Komen.
And Planned Parenthood receives money from Susan G. Komen, and viciously retaliated against the foundation when it briefly withdrew support in favor of organizations who actually provide mammograms.
You can say that Susan G. Komen and other cancer research foundations are simply concerned with the best interests of women, and are unswayed by financial concerns. And I will kiss you and call you sweetheart, because you are so adorably naive. Once you are ready to face the world the way it really is, not the way it ought to be, remember these three words: follow the money.
And what about the link between breast cancer and abortion? The National Cancer Society says there is no such thing -- that the myriad studies that indicate a link are flawed. End of story, right? Science has spoken.
But in what way are the studies flawed? The American Association of Pro-Life OB/GYNs explains. Studies showed that women with a history of abortion got breast cancer at an average rate of 30% more than women who hadn't had abortions. When the studies were analyzed by larger cancer research organizations, they simply presumed that women were lying about whether or not they'd had abortions. There is no study showing that women lie; it's just assumed.
They theorize (without proof) that women with breast cancer will selectively admit to their abortion history, and healthy “control group” women will more likely selectively deny their abortion history. The result would be: It “looks like” abortions are associated with more breast cancer, “no abortions” are associated with less breast cancer. On this constructed theory, this undemonstrated presumption, the entire body of interview based world literature has been relegated to the “academic junk yard”.
However: three studies (Wantanabe (1968), Nippon Rishno, 26: 1853-9 from Japan, in Japanese; Lipworth (1995) Int J Cancer, 61:181-4, from Greece; Daling, (1994) JNCI 86:1584-92, USA) all had, within their study design, a method to show selective recall bias, if it existed. None showed this bias. Tang (Mei-Tzu C. Tang, Noel S. Weiss, Janet R. Daling, and Kathleen E. Malone; Case-Control Differences in the Reliability of Reporting a History of Induced Abortion; A J Epidemiology, vol 151, #12, June l5, 2000) conducted a study to specifically demonstrate recall bias. The cancer patients and the healthy controls BOTH exhibited recall bias: 14% of cases and 14.9% of controls conveniently neglected to report an abortion that they had undergone. If both the cancer patients and the healthy controls have a similar “recall bias,” this strongly suggests the world literature (29 of 41 studies by 2004) reporting an average 30% increase in breast cancer in patients who had undergone abortions is very likely accurate.
So, is there a link between abortion and breast cancer? I don't know. I'm not a scientist, and have to rely on what other people tell me. But I can also rely on my common sense. I know that the abortion industry is powerful and wealthy. I know they have no qualms about lying, and everything to gain by telling the public that abortion is nothing to fear. I know that if you follow the money, you will understand more than you wanted to know about the way the world works.
So, let's review. Contraception and abortion are big money-makers.
Breast cancer research is a big money maker.
Pink merchandise is a big money-maker.
Counselling women to avoid hormonal contraception and abortion? Not much of a money-maker.
So save your money. Don't buy that pink stuff. Instead, pray for women with cancer. Donate to local organizations which support women and their families. Or donate to organizations whose research yields demonstrable results, and not one who makes policy decisions out of fear of the thuggery of the abortion and contraception industry.