SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Doug LaMalfa, a Republican congressional candidate in California, is backing off remarks he made that women who have abortions are more likely to get cancer.

"Research has shown there is that there is that higher level of incidence, there is that risk and so I would want women to be fully informed of all the aspects of it before they would make a decision like that," he said during a debate aired this week on KCRC. "I think that shows more care for women then by simply shuffling them off to an abortion mill and so that's a very important distinction that needs to be made."

A link between abortion and breast cancer has been the subject of medical studies but groups such as the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute concluded no scientific evidence backed such claims.

LaMalfa's campaign said in a statement Tuesday that he was misinformed. His consultant says the 1st Congressional District front-runner relied on information he read several years ago.

"After last night's debate I checked the most recent research on the question of a link between abortion and cancer and found that current research does not support the conclusion that abortion causes cancer," the statement read. "I hope that any woman considering this procedure discusses all the health consequences with her doctor and makes a fully informed decision."

A fellow Republican, Senate hopeful Todd Akin, made headlines this summer over his comments that women could thwart pregnancy in cases of what he called "legitimate rape."

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