factor is at least as great as that for oral contraceptives.
Dr. Brind also cited three studies for the position that abortion causes "deadlier breast cancer." According to Dr. Brind, a 1983 study
by H.E. Ownby and others found that women who had had at least one abortion had a higher recurrence rate of breast cancer within three years than patients who had no abortion history. He relied on the Ownby study for the proposition that those patients with an abortion history had more malignant cancer than those who had never had an abortion.
Drs. Heath, Rosenberg, and Newcomb vigorously disputed the findings in Dr. Brind's meta-analysis as well as his use of this methodology here. They questioned its accuracy here where nearly all of the studies are retrospective as opposed to prospective. Primarily, however, Drs. Heath, Rosenberg, and Newcomb disagreed with the conclusions Dr. Brind drew from the study data. While acknowledging that many studies show a weak positive association between abortion and breast cancer, they maintained that the association is not meaningful evidence of a cause and effect link. Finally, they rejected Dr. Brind's interpretation that any of the three studies upon which he relied supported the notion that abortion causes "deadlier" breast cancer.
It is undisputed that SEPTA relied solely on Dr. Lee's letter in making its decision to remove CBM's posters. Admittedly, SEPTA did not do research of its own on any link between abortion and breast cancer. CBM contends that SEPTA's reliance on Dr. Lee's letter alone was an insufficient basis to withdraw CBM's posters. We disagree. The legal standard is whether SEPTA acted reasonably. It does not have to be the most reasonable or the only reasonable decision. Cornelius, 473 U.S. at 808. We find that it was reasonable for SEPTA, a transportation authority with no medical expertise, to rely solely on the medical opinion of a physician who is a high government health official. It had no duty to investigate further before taking action. In any event, the testimony of Drs. Heath, Newcomb, and Rosenberg, all leading experts in the field of epidemiology, confirms that SEPTA's decision to eliminate the antiabortion signs was justified.
In reaching this conclusion, this court, of course, takes no position regarding the underlying scientific and medical question involved. Specifically, we do not decide whether Drs. Lee, Heath, Rosenberg, and Newcomb, on the one hand, or Dr. Brind, on the other, is right. The connection between abortion and breast cancer may be an issue which scientists and physicians will debate for years to come. Ultimately, a consensus may develop. At this time, we do not know. We decide only that based on the current state of scientific and medical knowledge, SEPTA did not act unreasonably in excluding CBM's "health" message as inaccurate and misleading. In sum, it was reasonable for SEPTA to respond in a way that was consistent with the views of Dr. Lee, Dr. Heath, Dr. Rosenberg, and Dr. Newcomb.
In order to pass constitutional muster, SEPTA's decision must not only be reasonable. It must also be "viewpoint neutral." Cornelius, 473 U.S. at 806. Defendants submit that they have not discriminated against CBM's message based on its antiabortion viewpoint. We agree. SEPTA has permitted advertising in subway and rail stations on both sides of the abortion debate. SEPTA has allowed messages advocating a woman's right to choose abortion and advertisements for medical clinics providing pregnancy termination services. On the other hand, SEPTA has run numerous contrary advertisements. For example, there have been signs urging teenagers to practice abstinence, offering counseling services to pregnant women, and encouraging pregnant woman to consider adoption as an alternative to terminating a pregnancy. One advertisement, which espoused the antiabortion cause, stated:
For answers to your questions about: ... Abortion - Making a Decision, Call State Health Line ... for free booklet on fetal development. Fetus is Latin for little one-A little human is a baby....