Opposition to the right to choose has had an adverse and chilling impact on scientific research and medical advances in the United States. In recent decades, anti-choice political activity has interfered with promising research into a host of diseases and conditions, including Parkinson's, cancer, AIDS, endometriosis, infertility, and multiple sclerosis. Research on fetal tissue played an instrumental role in the development of the polio vaccine, virtually eliminating the disease from our society. Yet those who oppose abortion still seek to halt this research at every turn.
In addition to blocking scientific advancement, anti-choice groups often turn science on its head in their effort to portray legal abortion as unsafe for American women. In reality, legal abortion is one of the safest and most common medical procedures available today. Legal abortion entails half the risk of death involved in a tonsillectomy and one-hundredth the risk of death involved in an appendectomy. The risk of death from legal abortion is even lower than that from a shot of penicillin. And although anti-choice groups often try to link abortion with the risk of developing breast cancer, the largest and most comprehensive study on the subject concluded that "induced abortions have no overall effect on the risk of breast cancer."
Anti-choice lawmakers must not be allowed to stand in the way of scientific progress. And women must be given the proven facts about abortion, not misinformation designed to frighten them and prevent them from exercising their constitutional right to choose.
Abstinence-Only Programs: Ideology Over Science