Chronic Mendacity Syndrome

A new story going around on the anti-abortion Life News ("Abortion Helps Cause 90% Increase in Breast Cancers in 33 Years") claims that a February 27 article in the respected Journal of the American Medical Association confirms a 90% increase in advanced breast cancer for women who have had abortions.

Horrifying news, if true, and it might tip the scales of deciding whether an abortion is a legitimate choice. But as it turns out, the report is complete hooie. And it doesn't take a doctorate in medicine to understand that. You just have to read the article. Here's the upshot:

Conclusion and Relevance: Based on SEER data, there was a small but statistically significant increase in the incidence of breast cancer with distant involvement in the United States between 1976 and 2009 for women aged 25 to 39 years, without a corresponding increase in older women.
No mention of abortion, contraception, moon beams or anything else. Just a finding about young women having more breast cancer.

It's bad enough that Life News has to invents facts for its eager readership. And, boy, are they ever eager to hear anything bad about abortion! Even if they have to invent it. What is worse are the comments of those who read the piece. A sampling:

"I hate to use the word Karma?"

"Jesus didn't say, you reap what you sow for nothing. If you kill your baby, certainly you are going to suffer grave consequences as it should be."

"be sure of this, your sin will find u out!"

"Abortion kills two. It takes a little longer on the second. If cancer doesn't get her, then suicide usually follows."

And the story would not be complete without some conspiracy nonsense thrown in for good measure:

"Susan G. Komen backs Planned Parenthood,I think because Si.ce abortion increases breast cancer the Susan G. Komen gets more business which equals more $!"

By the way, Bible fans, while the idea behind "You reap what you sow" is an old one -- it shows up in Hosea ("They that sow the wind, shall reap the whirlwind") and in Galatians("Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows.") Jesus is not recorded as having used the phrase. Though he did say, "He who lives by the sword will die by the sword" and "judge not, lest ye be judged," which might give pause to those doling out self-serving fiction disguised as truth.

I have no problem with people opposing abortion. Abortion is a horrifying and very unfunny option, even for pro-choicers. But lying about it just erodes the moral high ground under the "anti" crowd--a crowd that is comfortable upholding the 5th commandment ("thou shalt not kill") by violating the 8th (thou shalt not bear false witness").

If you're looking for scientific-sounding jargon to describe the affliction, you might say that an extreme anti-abortion stance is causally linked with a tendency toward chronic mendacity.

And that's the truth.