Karen Malec – beloved wife and mother, teacher, journalist, and activist – passed away on the morning of Wednesday, May 6, after an extended bout with ovarian cancer. She was 60 years old.
Mrs. Malec is best known in pro-life circles for her outstanding leadership as President of the Coalition on Abortion/Breast Cancer. The group’s web site www.abortionbreastcancer.com remains the best online resource available on the connection, well documented through many scientific studies, between abortion and breast cancer.
Mrs. Malec was the author of numerous articles on the subject — including the influential “Abortion-Breast Cancer Link: How Politics Trumped Science and Informed Consent,” published in the Summer 2005 issue of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. In all her work, she carefully cultivated the support of scientific advisers such as Joel Brind, PhD., and Chris Kahlenborn, M.D.
She presented lectures in the U.S. and Europe and was several times invited to testify before legislative committees. She participated in a panel discussion on the abortion-breast cancer link at the U.N. Conference on the Rights of the Child in June 2001.
Throughout her advocacy on behalf of mothers and children, Mrs. Malec was bitterly and tenaciously attacked by the usual suspects: the National Organization for Women, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood — none of whose representatives ever dared to confront her in public debate. She was especially thrilled to be targeted on the Huffington Post by an author who declined to survey her whole website and studiously avoided the many links it provided to scientific studies. As a journalist in her own right, Mrs. Malec was acutely aware of the loss of integrity undermining her profession.
Karen was always a good friend to Life Legal — but especially dear to our hearts for the support she gave in our challenge to the Obama Administration’s HHS Mandate. In our view and that of our allies at the Bioethics Defense Fund, Karen’s expertise was crucial to our case against the mandate [see LLDF brief] because she showed that neither abortion nor contraception could be viewed as beneficial to women’s health. On a more profound level, Karen’s meticulous tabulation of the research on her topic struck at the very heart of the pro-abortion mentality. It showed that the mother and the child in the womb could not be viewed as adversaries.
Mrs. Malec was herself a breast-cancer survivor and also a survivor of colon cancer for over twenty years. She is survived by her husband, Rich, and her grown children, Mike and Katy.
She will be sorely missed.