By Dave Andrusko
It’ll be a while before I have a chance to see it, but “Hush” is already beginning to create some buzz about the much under-publicized, unfairly ridiculed conclusion that having an induced abortion not only increases a woman’s risk for having breast cancer but also has other negative aftermath.
The feature documentary by Indo-Canadian director Punam Kumar Gill made its worldwide festival premiere October 15 at the LA Femme International Film Festival in Beverly Hills. Here’s a very nice overview from National Post columnist Barbara Kay:
Gill, who considers herself a “product of feminism,” had always assumed IA [Induced Abortion] was safe and without harmful effects. That changed some years ago, when the sudden onset of pre-eclampsia in her second trimester of pregnancy resulted in the spontaneous abortion of her baby. When she attempted to gather information on possible health consequences, Gill encountered resistance amongst health professionals to discussion of any risks.
She was further troubled by the bromides set out by health organizations on their websites, as well as by the disparity in public policies around informed consent in different jurisdictions. In Canada and many states, as the film notes, abortion seekers are given no routine pre-surgery counselling, while 35 states mandate pre-abortion counselling, 25 cite IA-linked fertility risks, and five cite the potential ABC link.
What you will mainly see in Hush, apart from graphically illuminated revelations of research suppression amongst health organizations, notably the National Cancer Institute, is Gill talking to people, including amongst others: women whose abortions resulted in physical and psychological complications they were not advised might happen; an internationally prominent gynecologist who denies that IA involves any significant consequences whatsoever, and who considers continued research unnecessary; a breast surgical oncologist disturbed by her growing roster of patients with aggressive breast cancer in the 25-39 cohort, many with a history of IA; and a statistician studying eight European-Scandinavian countries who finds IA “to be the best predictor of breast cancer.”
According to information provided by Mighty Motion Pictures, the film brings together an unlikely pair: pro-choice Director Gill, and pro-life Producer, Joses Martin. You get the sense that Gill initially worried her feminist credentials might be pulled if she questioned anything about abortion, but she pushed ahead. She
trudged through the highly volatile and politicized research around abortions’ disputed connections with breast cancer, premature birth and psychological problems. What she discovered in the process is not just vital to the subject of abortion, but also critical to her own life, and could bring relief to millions of women worldwide. It’s sure to ignite an updated dialogue about feminism, reproduction, and the progress of women in general.
According to Jay Hobbs, “Hush” includes interviews with three experts who have long warned about the long-term health effects of abortion on women : Joel Brind, Ph.D., Angela Lanfranchi, M.D., F.A.C.S., and Priscilla Coleman, Ph.D. all of whom have appeared in NRL News and NRL News Today. Those aftershocks also include the higher risk of subsequent premature births and psychological damage.
But as you see in the trailer for the documentary, Gill begins with a complete skeptic who states flatly, “What we now know is that there are no long-term consequences from abortion and that includes psychological effects as well.” What “Hush” does is explore the science and talks to women. As I say it’ll be next year before the documentary will available to a wider audience. Let me conclude here with what Prof. Brind says in the trailer:
“This really has nothing to do with the morality of abortion. It’s the morality of telling the truth about it.”