Fight over billboards linking cancer to abortion

An anti-abortion group, Life Canada, has put up three billboards in Alberta that display a large pink ribbon and the words "stop the cover up".

The group contend that having an abortion is a factor in getting breast cancer.

The action has angered the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation who say that the group is linking the procedure to breast cancer, and appropriating the foundation's pink ribbon trademark to do it.

Jim Hudson, of the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation, says the group's website is misleading, and that they are looking at whether Life Canada has infringed on their trademark by using the pink ribbon.

Hudson says there is published evidence from a large 2004 Oxford study that reanalysed 53 other separate studies, including 83,000 women from 16 countries, which concluded abortion did not increase a woman's risk of cancer.

However Joanne Byfield, president of Life Canada and who also belongs to Pro-Life Alberta, says more than 70 studies "have looked at the relationship between the two and about 80 per cent of those studies have shown some sort of link between the two".

Hudson says Life Canada is sending the wrong message to women, and the foundation is concerned about the campaign, and that the evidence being presented about a link between abortion and breast cancer is not acceptable.

The Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation estimates that 21,600 women will be diagnosed with the disease this year, and about 5,300 will die from it.

Breast cancer is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in women.

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