Clinic's denial of abortion/breast cancer link called false and misleading
FARGO, ND -- A suit for injunctive relief was filed today in Cass County District Court against the Red River Women's Clinic, a Fargo abortion provider. The suit, filed by Fargo resident Amy Jo Mattson, seeks to prevent the abortion clinic from distributing a pamphlet that Ms. Mattson alleges contains false statements about research linking abortion with increased breast cancer risk.
The suit is being brought on behalf of women considering abortion and the general public, and is supported by a local physician, a Fargo crisis pregnancy center, and the Fargo Catholic Diocese.
The Plaintiff alleges that the Red River Women's Clinic has misled women by giving prospective abortion clients a pamphlet stating that medical research does not support the claim that having an abortion increases the risk of developing breast cancer. The suit alleges that this statement constitutes false advertising because there is substantial medical research published in established medical journals that supports the claim that elective abortion increases the risk of developing breast cancer.
Twenty-six out of thirty-two published studies worldwide and twelve out of thirteen studies in the United States support the claim that induced abortion increases the risk of breast cancer (a bibliographic listing of these studies is available on request).
Dr. Spencer Berry, a family physician in Fargo, agrees: "I have examined the medical research supporting the claim that abortion increases breast cancer risk, and it is clear to me that the statement in the Red River Women's Clinic pamphlet is very misleading."
Patricia Larson, R.N., L.S.W., director of the Women's Care Clinic, a local crisis pregnancy center, stated: "Any woman in a crisis pregnancy is entitled to know that abortion may increase her risk of developing breast cancer in the future. It is wrong to withhold this information from women or to deny its existence."
Rachelle Sauvageau, coordinator of the Pro-Life Office of the Catholic Diocese of Fargo, supports the pending litigation: "This suit is necessary to allow women to protect their own health and well-being. Our concern for women compels us to defend them against the false claims that abortion is not harmful to a woman's health, be it emotional, physical or spiritual."
The executive director and attorney for the North Dakota Catholic Conference, Christopher Dodson, stated that he was "disturbed" by the clinic's actions. Dodson also stated that state law not only forbids false advertising, but also requires all abortion providers to give a woman seeking an abortion information on the "medical risks" associated with abortion. According to Dodson, any woman who has received an abortion and was not told of the possible link between induced abortion and breast cancer might be able to sue the clinic that performed the procedure.
A summary of the complaint is attached. Plaintiff Amy Jo Mattson is represented by attorney John Kindley, author of a widely-read article in the Wisconsin Law Review on informed consent and the abortion/breast cancer link.
See www.afterabortion.com/kindley_article.html. Fargo attorney Bruce Madlom is assisting Mr. Kindley in his representation and appears in the case as local North Dakota counsel.
According to the Red River Women's Clinic pamphlet distributed to prospective abortion patients in Fargo, North Dakota, "Anti-abortion activists claim that having an abortion increases the risk of developing breast cancer and endangers future childbearing. None of these claims are supported by medical research or established medical organizations." (Emphasis original.)
The suit alleges that this statement is misleading and constitutes false advertising. There is substantial medical research in peer-reviewed journals which supports the claim that having an abortion increases the risk of developing breast cancer. Twenty-six out of thirty-two published studies worldwide and twelve out of thirteen studies in the United States support the claim that induced abortion increases the risk of breast cancer.
North Dakota law forbids placing before the pubic assertions, representations and statements of fact which are untrue, deceptive or misleading. (See NDCC 51-12-01.)
The Plaintiff requests that the Red River Women's Clinic be forbidden from distributing the misleading brochure and from any further advertising of the false claim that medical research does not support the claim that having an abortion increases the risk of developing breast cancer.