Guest post by Joel Brind, Ph.D.
He may or may not be on Mitt Romney’s short list for VP, but journalists always seem to have his name near the top of their list. At least Tim Pawlenty’spro-life credentials are reliable, right?
Well if you ask me, the view from under the Pawlenty bus ain’t so pretty.
As you may know, I have been researching and trying to bring into public awareness the abortion-breast cancer link (ABC link) for twenty years with some success, no thanks to Gov. Pawlenty.
Oh sure, in 2003 he signed into law the Women’s Right to Know law that required informed consent before abortion, the law previous Gov. Jesse Ventura had vetoed. And yes, Minnesota is one of only a handful of states that specifically mentions breast cancer as one of the medical risks of abortion explicitly in the statute. And yes, under Gov. Pawlenty’s watch in 2003, and according to the new law, a “handbook” for pregnant women was posted on the Minnesota Dept. of Health website to explain the facts about pregnancy and the risks of childbirth and abortion, including increased risk of breast cancer with abortion.
But something else had also happened in 2003 that soon affected what showed up on Pawlenty’s decision desk.
Under pro-life Congressional pressure to acknowledge the ABC link (in the form of a letter signed by no less than 28 Representatives) the National Cancer Institute held a 3-day “workshop” to review the evidence. In reality, it was a political charade designed to give the NCI’s official imprimatur to the denial of the ABC link. (As one of 100 invited experts, I was a participant and the sole dissenter from the official denial. Read my minority report here.
The official denial of the ABC link by the corrupt federal bureaucrats at the NCI cast a worldwide pall over efforts to educate the public, to be sure, but who would expect that pressure from the organization that represents the abortionists would sway a pro-life governor to pull the ABC link info from his state’s informational website?
Yet that’s exactly what happened, as a letter from the CEO of the Minnesota Medical Society, Robert Meiches, was all it took for Gov. Pawlenty to summarily delete the ABC link info from the state Dept. of Health website.
But lest the reader rush to Pawlenty’s defense, as one who does not have the requisite expertise to determine which side was correct about the existence of the ABC link (although one might expect him to defer to his own majority voices in both houses of the state legislature!), his willful avoidance of being educated on the issue was telling indeed.
You see, one of the state legislators who had sponsored the new law, Tim Wilkin, knew the governor well, and contacted me in New York to see if I was willing to give the governor a briefing on the subject, as he knew of the Meiches letter and Pawlenty’s consideration of doing Meiches’ bidding. I absolutely was willing – and told Wilkin so – to make the trip to Minnesota at my own expense to do so, anytime that the Governor was available.
But alas, as Wilkin informed me subsequently, Gov. Pawlenty was not interested in learning about the ABC link, and rather summarily yanked the ABC link info from the informational website handbook for pregnant women.
Today, the Minnesota Dept. of Health website’s handbook for pregnant women is even worse, carrying the NCI party line. It cites the phony NCI “workshop” consensus and an additional high profile (but fraudulent) review by a group at Oxford University, which, according to the website, “also indicated there is no link between abortion and breast cancer.” (Check out this website, which also shows links to summaries of the NCI report and the Oxford paper.).
Meanwhile, in the years since 2004, many more studies have come out which support the reality of the ABC link. Several are ironically from despotic nations such as China and Iran, and one American study, published in 2009, was actually co-authored by NCI official Louise Brinton (pictured left). Brinton was actually the official who orchestrated the phony 2003 “workshop” that essentially banished the ABC link from the public mind, valid scientific evidence – even her own – be damned.
So the end result in Minnesota is that a law which was intended to warn women about the dangers of abortion, instead falsely reassures them of abortion’s alleged long-term safety.
Thank you, Tim Pawlenty. At least now we know that when push comes to shove, he will defer to the federal bureaucracy and the abortionists’ rep. Not exactly the kind of official who could be relied upon to say, defund Planned Parenthood.
Seems to me Mr. Romney has some much better genuinely pro-life veep candidates to choose from.