Linked abortion to breast cancer: Reverend Fred Nile.

Linked abortion to breast cancer: Reverend Fred Nile. Photo: Peter Rae

Christian Democratic Party MP Fred Nile says women should reconsider having abortions "if the price of the decision is breast cancer", repeating discredited views that have angered women and health groups.

At a budget estimates hearing at Parliament on Thursday, Mr Nile called on the NSW government to alert women to the so-called dangers of abortion, later claiming that studies confirming the link to breast cancer are being "censored".

"The body is preparing to have a baby … and suddenly it's terminated, and that causes some reaction in the cells, and the cells in the breast particularly," he later told Fairfax Media.

"I can see it's logical. There could be some disturbance to the women's physiology when she has an abortion, because she is programmed to … have a baby, feed a baby, and it stops."

The Australian Medical Association, Cancer Australia and many other health and medical authorities have rejected the link between abortion and breast cancer.

Reverend Nile's comments echo those made by senior federal frontbencher Eric Abetz in a TV interview earlier this month, which earned a rebuke from Prime Minister Tony Abbott.

Mr Abetz said "I think the studies, and I think they date back from the 1950s, assert that there is a link between abortion and breast cancer". He later claimed he had been cut off before being able to acknowledge this was not the accepted medical view.

Reverend Nile, who is staunchly anti-abortion, is a guest speaker at the "World Congress of Families" event to be held in Melbourne later this month.

One of the topics to be discussed is abortion and breast cancer. Senator Abetz is also involved in the event.

At the NSW budget estimates hearing, Reverend Nile asked Minister for Women Pru Goward if she was aware of research published in February this year exploring the link between induced abortion and breast cancer among Chinese women.

He claimed the researchers "reviewed 36 recent peer-reviewed studies and found that, on average an induced abortion increases the risk of breast cancer by 44 per cent. Two abortions increase the risk by 76 per cent and three, by 89 per cent".

"Will you ask your department to investigate the [research] and other recent valid studies, and inform NSW women about these significant findings?" he said.

The Breast Cancer Network Australia chief executive Maxine Morand said Reverend Nile's remarks were "disappointing".

"His comments have the potential to raise unnecessary concern for women. He appears to be motivated by his strong pro-life beliefs rather than being informed by evidence from independent bodies such as Cancer Australia," she said. 

The network has previously assured women that "many studies show no proven link between breast cancer and abortion".

Ms Goward told the hearing she would take the question on notice, and refer it to Health Minister Jillian Skinner "because I know she has a keen interest in women's health".

"Scientific information is always relevant … it needs to be considered seriously and that is what we'll do," she said.

A spokesman later said Ms Goward's response was "appropriate".

"Given the Reverend Nile referenced multiple sources and reports which he did not table in estimates ... she offered to refer the matter to the Minister responsible for health and medical research," he said.