Monday, May 16, 2005

Abortion and Premature Birth

Prolife Blogs is covering the study from France that finds "an induced abortion can increase the risk by premature birth in subsequent pregnancies by as much as 70 percent."

From The Daily Telegraph:

"Her study compared the medical histories of 2,219 women with babies born at less than 34 weeks with another 618 who had given birth at full term. Overall, women who had had an abortion were 40 per cent more likely to have a very pre-term delivery (less than 33 weeks) than those without such a history. The risk of an extremely premature baby - one born at less than 28 weeks - was raised even more sharply, by 70 per cent. Abortion appeared to increase the risk of most major causes of premature birth, including premature rupture of membranes, incorrect position of the foetus on the placenta and spontaneous early labour. The only common cause of premature birth not linked to abortion was high blood pressure.

But this study isn't really news. There have been numerous studies (more than 40) which link abortion and premature birth. From the National Right to Life News in 2003:

"‘Induced Abortion and Risk of Later Premature Births' appears in the Summer 2003 edition of the Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons. The study, authored by Brent Rooney and Byron Calhoun, M.D., points out that at least 49 studies conducted between 1966 and March 2003 have shown a statistically significant increase in premature births or "surrogates" such as low birth weights in women who have had prior induced abortions.

In 36 years of studies tracked by Rooney and Calhoun, only eight studies failed to show a statistically significant increase, and in many cases this was simply because the sample sizes were too small. There were no studies found in recognized medical journals during this period showing a decreased risk of subsequent prematurity following an abortion.

The report offered some astounding results. A 1993 Australian study of 121,305 total births found the risk of an extremely premature birth (20-27 weeks gegestational age) to be 60% higher for women with one previous abortion, 150% higher for those with two abortions, and 460% higher for women having three or more previous induced abortions - - compared to women with no previous pregnancies."

Dr. Barbara Luke, a professor at the University of Michigan and an expert in obstetrics and gynecology wrote, "(i)f you have had one or more induced abortions, your risk of prematurity with this pregnancy increases by about 30 percent" in her 1995 book, "Every Pregnant Woman's Guide to Preventing Premature Birth."

Too bad the March of Dimes, which started a multi-million dollar campaign to reduce premature births, doesn't acknowledge abortion as something that would put women at an increased risk.

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