The Richvale Republican, who is running in the 1st Congressional District, made that argument during a Monday debate between him and Democrat Jim Reed sponsored by the Redding Tea Party. He repeated the stance in a post-debate interview with KRCR News.
"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 told the station. "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."
While a link between abortion and breast cancer has been the subject of medical studies and used as fodder for anti-abortion advocates, groups such as the American Cancer Society and the National Cancer Institute have concluded that there is not scientific evidence to back such claims.
La Malfa's campaign sent out a correction today saying he was misinformed. His consultant said the candidate was relying on information he remembered reading 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," he said in the statement. "I hope that any woman considering this procedure discusses all the health consequences with her doctor and makes a fully informed decision."
The former state legislator is considered the front-runner in the safe GOP district. He resigned from the state Senate earlier this month to allow Gov. Jerry Brown to consolidate the special primary to fill his seat with the general election.