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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Partisan Politics Yields Poor Medical Research

February 26, 2003

I was outraged to read "Health Research Being Politicized, Critics Charge" (Feb. 23), on the government's sponsoring a National Cancer Institute conference regarding the link between abortion and breast cancer. This is another example of the Bush administration's inserting its conservative anti-choice agenda into medical research. The 1997 Danish study of 1.5 million women found no connection between abortion and higher rates of breast cancer. The American Cancer Society sees no link between abortion and breast cancer, yet the Bush administration is funding this conference.

I have several friends who are survivors of breast cancer. I have seen the pure terror they experience upon receiving the diagnosis of breast cancer and the debilitating effects of the subsequent surgery and treatment. Government funds could certainly be better spent looking for improved ways to diagnose cancer and more effective treatment modes. Is there no end to the attempts by the anti-choice proponents to influence government policies and spending?

Susan Swan

Los Angeles

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