A Catholic anti-abortion group connected to the Times investigation into crisis pregnancy agencies has admitted that abortion does not cause breast cancer.
The Good Counsel Network, which operates in Ireland and the UK, has compared abortion to terrorism, defended the Magdalene Laundries and described using contraception as an act of narcissism.
It is linked to The Women’s Centre on Berkeley Street in Dublin, where an undercover reporter filmed a counsellor claiming that abortion caused breast cancer and would turn women into child abusers. The Dail is now legislating to regulate crisis pregnancy agencies after an investigation by The Times in September.
The Times undercover at a Dublin abortion advice clinic
The Dublin centre is registered to the same London address and phone number as the Good Counsel Network.
“The Good Counsel Network recognises that there is not a proven link between abortion and breast cancer. However we do not hide the fact that well over 50 medical studies have suggested a possible link,” the anti-abortion group said in a statement posted on its UK website.
“We are not medical advisers and therefore share with women the information about these studies as well as the information that there is no proven link,” it added.
The Times revealed that the agency advised an undercover reporter that abortion could make women infertile and abusive. In October, a British investigation by Channel 4’s Dispatches programme found that UK abortion clinics run by the same organisation were making the same claims.
A woman claiming to be a counsellor in the Dublin clinic did not tell The Timesreporter that there was no proven link between abortion and breast cancer.
Referring to women who have abortions, she said: “I can’t tell you, she will get breast cancer. She won’t. But what I can tell you is there is more breast cancer found in groups of women who’ve had abortions than any other group. The reproductive system is all connected.”
She gave the reporter literature that claimed that side-effects of abortion included frigidity, crying, sighing, constant swallowing, an intense interest in babies, helplessness, a preoccupation with death, loss of organs, seizures, future child abuse, a compulsion to end relationships, lower self-esteem, feeling dehumanised and exploited, a lack of confidence in decision-making, insomnia, nightmares, nervousness and guilt.
Peter Boylan, the president of the Institute of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland, said that the medical claims being made by the centre were outrageous, dangerous and unfounded.
The Times contacted a man running the clinic, who claims to be called Patrick Jameson, for a comment but he did not respond. He is identical in appearance to Eamon Murphy, sometimes spelt Eamonn Murphy, an anti-abortion campaigner and director of the ProLife Alliance.
The Good Counsel Network appeared to have paid to be one of the first Google results for those searching from an Irish IP address for advice on how to access an abortion.
The Women’s Centre also lists an address at Bell Street, north London, on its website. In 2013 the UK Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that the London centre was in breach of its code of standards for giving the “misleading and irresponsible” impression that it was an abortion clinic. It runs abortionchoices.org, a UK website that the ASA said made “problem claims.”
“The Women’s Centre, previously known as Central London Women’s Centre, is in breach of the UK Advertising Standards Code for failing to make clear that a service offering advice on unplanned pregnancy did not refer women directly for a termination and also for giving the misleading impression that [it] was an abortion clinic,”it said.
“Despite repeated requests to amend the ad in line with the ruling [it] has failed to do so.”
Source: The Times